This morning when getting ready for work, I went to my closet and grabbed a shirt that my wife bought for me over a year ago, but never fit quite right.It fits now.  Unfortunately, my Jeans are now a little too loose.  I'll see how much more time I can get out of them by washing and drying them on hot.

I'll take the good with the bad.

Weight Loss Update Week 10

Last week I complained about the plateau that I'd found myself in. Today that is not the case. I'll keep this short and sweet. Last week I weighed 209.6. This morning 204.4. That's 5.2 lbs in one week of being very disciplined. This is the lightest I have been in at least 10 years. I never really paid much attention to my wieght until I became aware of being overweight. I am feeling pretty motivated. Getting under 200 pounds is a pretty big deal. Maybe this week or maybe the next.

I also had some friends tell me, unprompted that they had noticed that I was trimmer. That sure helped too. Thanks for the encouragment and the kind words!

Weight Loss Update Week 6

Measurements 6-16 Weight 213.8 Waist 46.25 Chest 45.3875 Hips 44 Neck 16.75 R Bicep 12.5 L bicep. 12.875 R Thigh. 26.25 L thigh 26.75

6-23 Weight 210.8 Waist 46 Chest 45 Hips 43.75 Neck 16.75 R Bicep 12.5 L bicep. 12.25 R Thigh. 26.5 L thigh 26.75

Three Pounds lost. That's double my weekly goal, and yet I so wanted to break 210 for the week. I actually reached 210 on Friday morning, but Saturday is the weekly one that I count. Once again, I have good measurement change, so that is a real plus and it reminds me that even when weight is fluctuating daily, positive change is happening.

I mentioned a book in my update post last week and I've been using some of the tools and tactics that Chris Powell shares. I gave myself two weeks to try it out.

I said a few weeks back that I wasn't following a "diet plan" but was instead just using common sense. It feels a little weird to be trying something out that thas the feel of being a weight loss plan. It is complete with a list of foods you can't eat, portion guidelines, and even a free day. Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out.

Some of the stuff that he shares makes a lot of sense. It also seems to be working for me where other things haven't. Some of it is hard, and some of it just feels unsustainable long term.

The basics are that your body is a machine that needs fuel, but one that is "smart" and can adjust to pretty much anything that you do to it. If you eat lots of food, it will burn what it needs at a high metabolic rate and store the extra for a time when there isn't enough. Conversely, if you don't feed it enough and at the right times, it will learn to function with less by turning down the metabolism , but then store any extra it does get. You can use this survival instinct to your advantage. You can trick your body into thinking it has plenty of fuel right around the corner so it will go ahead and burn it without feeling like it needs to save.

I did a little research on the side just to make sure. It seems like this is pretty common with fitness gurus and body builders. Basically, what it means is that you should try to avoid a long-term low calorie situation and this is part of why increasing protein comsumption, free days, or free meals often seem to help. It tells your body that it will be getting more fuel and should ramp up the metabolic temperature.

I know that there isn't a lot that is inspriring here. I've tried to include something Iike that in each update, but I've got nothing right now and won't force it. It feels more like the slog in the middle of a long journey. I'm a data guy so I'm looking at all of it and trying to understand the science of what is happening and why it doesn't make sense sometimes.

More next week.

Weight Loss Week 3 Update - 21 Days in

So, this week brought a renewed vigor in my efforts and man did it pay off. Last week I weighed in on Saturday at 218.4. This morning I’m at 214.6. I’m always a little pumped when I drop below another 5 pound mark. 210, here I come. Here are the numbers-



One other thing that I’ve been doing, but am just now sharing are some measurements. I’m just keeping a text file on my iPhone that I update everytime I bust out the measuring tape. I’m using an app called Byword I also use it on my iPad, and on my Mac. What is fantastic is that it syncs between all three devices using one of two different methods. Dropbox and iCloud. I use Dropbox so my files are available from any computer. As a side note, I write most every post in Byword as well.

Here are the measurements-

5/14 Waist 47 Chest 46 Hips 45 Neck 17.5 R Bicep 13.75 L bicep 13.5 R Thigh. 27 L Thigh 27

5/27 Waist 47 Chest 45.75 Hips 44.5 Neck 17.25 R Bicep 13.125 L bicep. 13.125 R Thigh. 26.75 L thigh 27

6/2 Waist 47 Chest 45.5 Hips 44.5 Neck 17 R Bicep 13 L bicep. 13 R Thigh. 26.5 L thigh 26.75

The main reason this is important is that progress isn’t always just a weight thing. It’s also good to measure areas that aren’t of primary concern to me. For example, I never thought my arms were fat, but it turns out that is one of the areas where I’m losing fat first. In the past I only really measured my waist and would then get really frustrated because I couldn’t get it to move much. It was also pretty useful last week when I wasn’t seeing much movement on the scale, but could see that my body was still burning fat.

Free Days aka- eating stuff I shouldn’t

I also have another thought. This one concerns free days. In the past, I have tried different weight loss plans, many of which tell you to take a free day once a week and eat whatever you want. There are many reasons given. Some say that it helps you to not feel like you can never eat treats and indulgent foods. Others say that it helps your body to not go into starvation mode. There are other reasons too, but I’ll tell you what is working for me so far.

I’m not taking a free day. Instead, I’m choosing when to splurge by meal. As an example, on Monday, we grilled up some fantastic steak. I chose to eat a steak that is roughly twice the size than makes sense for that meal because I love steak, and I’m willing to trade off a bit to include it. Yesterday, I had a big peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie. It was 350 calories. It was totally worth it. I didn’t throw the entire day away just because I indulged in 1 treat. In the past, one treat would totally derail me.

I’m trying to take a holsitic look at each day and decide what is important to me. There are some foods that I’ve just dropped, because the value and/or enjoyment just isn’t high enough to justify the space in my day and body. I’ve also started eating a lot more vegetables. My favorites are Baby Spinach leaves and Red Bell Peppers.


If I can summarize, I’m learning that living by a “diet” or a strict system, doesn’t have basis in true life and for me, feels like legalism. I believe that choosing when and what to eat is a matter of self-control. People keep asking what diet I’m using and my answer so far has been “common-sense”. Figure out how much your body needs (accounting for exercise) and then eat that much. If you want to lose weight, eat less. This isn’t rocket science.

Anecdote for the week

On Tuesday, I had a terrible day at work. A couple of client requests derailed my whole day and I was feeling really unproductive. I found myself sitting in my office at about 3pm thinking “I’m hungry, I need to go get something to eat” Almost as fast as that thought entered my head, another thought came to me. This one came pretty heavy, like a slap to the back of the head. “You aren’t really hungry, you’re just stressed, tired and frustrated!”

I promptly filled my water bottle, pounded the whole thing, plowed through the next two hours and then the ride home totally eliminated the stress.

I love moments of clarity.

Intentional is Not Easy

I?ve been working through the ups and downs of staying focused for any significant length of time. Most of the wisdom and conversation you find if you start looking for it- well at least what I found- is productivity focused. That?s not a bad thing as I?m finding that my journey through this is affecting every area in my life.
I was working through some of this with a friend a couple weeks ago over lunch, and he told me that being more disciplined and more focused in his day job, and in fitness has made him better in other stuff too. This seems pretty obvious, but I?ve been thinking about it a lot.

I?ve mentioned in previous posts that the discipline needed for losing weight was spilling over into other areas of life, but I?ve been surprised to find that instead of just getting better in other areas subconciously, it is following a similar path of discovery, awareness of deficiency, conviction and action and one additional step. I?ll get to that in a minute.

Here is what it looks like- I don?t find myself necessarily getting better in other areas of life yet, but more aware of deficiency. I trust that this will work out, just like it has with the weight loss/health stuff.

I went to the doctor and he told me I needed to lose weight. That is discovery.

I realized that he was right and that I was slower at everything, was having more trouble with Asthma and soreness, and that my family were susceptible to diabetes and heart problems. There?s awareness. I knew I was overweight long before, but I didn?t realize it was much of a problem.

As this stuff became real, it became clear that something had to change and that it wasn?t acceptable to not change. Conviction.

I started posting about this, made a plan, and made it hard to not do the right thing. Action.

There is another piece too. It is called resolve. Staying Focused. It is hard.

For a long time, I?ve identified myself as someone who is pretty lousy at muli-tasking, but now I think it is more of an excuse. Stay with me here, this is related.

When you start calling out the things that don?t belong in your life, it becomes easier to do. Sort of like working out. The more you exercise a muscle, the more it can handle. I?ve been exercising my ability to get honest with myself. In much the same way that I have discovered what psychological hang-ups caused me to get and stay overweight, I?ve also become aware of things in my life which keep me from staying focused on other things.

Work, Family, Praying, The Bible, Music, Photography, Reading, Technology.

I tend to focus on each of these in smaller, exclusive chunks of time. My wife calls it ?being obsessed?. I don?t like that word- probably because it rings a little too true.

What I don?t do, is really commit to these things as a holistic, important part of my life. It?s pretty lousy if I only spend a couple days, or weeks, all fired-up about one thing, but then drop it and move on to the next thing. If I met someone who did this all the time, I would think he/she was pretty lame.

So, when trying to lose weight, success is determined largely by the long-term resolve and ability to commit to things even without the short-term payoff of ?feeling healthy? because you lost a lot of pounds this day or week. None of those other important things I mentioned earlier are served well by this approach either. If something is truly important, it should be a part of your life with its own space, place and dedication.

That?s the thing I need to keep telling myself about living healthier. It?s hard because committing to things that are truly important is not the easy way. Doing whatever is easiest is the easy way. Less work is the easy way.

Intentional is not easy.