Thursday, March 29, 2007

Broke 200

Yep. 199.4 as of weigh in yesterday. (Down 1.2 lbs this week).

I can't remember being this small, not since school. I don't know when I crossed the threshold the first time, going up. It was during my first marriage, which ended when my ex kicked me out of the house nine years ago. I remember not liking the fact that I was over 200 lbs, but I don't remembe when I noticed it.

I had tried weight watchers with my ex many years ago, when we were still in our first apartment in Ohio, so that would be between 16 and 18 years ago. All I remember of that was I could easily eat two frozen dinners, though I don't remember much else. It was one where we would typically go and blow the diet after weigh in each week as well. It didn't last long.

I did Atkins years ago, and got down to 203 (starting at 238). So I've lost almost 20 more lbs than I did on that, and am smaller.

I'm still not sure about my goal of 172. We did a visualization exercise at WW last night, and I have a lot of problems with those anyway. But visualizing myself down another 27.4 lbs - I have no idea what that will be. I want my belly to be gone, and that is pretty much the only thing I'm sure about.

Of course, the reward for doing all of this? Yep, you guessed it - I lose a daily point. "Here, you are doing great - so you get even less food to eat!" What a deal!

So the incredible shrinking man continues . . .

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Going grey

I can't deny my age, it is a simple fact. I'm 42. Big deal.

I can't deny that my hairline is receding - and that I've been losing that battle since my head decided to open the war on two fronts - both my forehead and the top of my head. I can't see the bigger bald spot, but I can't really deny it is there.

What hair I have left is going grey. That again is a fact. Of course, it couldn't do the distinguished look - the grey at the temples type of thing. Or even the more salt and pepper type. No, it is a gradual all over.

At least on the hair on top of my head.

My beard - of course that has the most of all in it. Over half is neary white. Probably because it has always been darker, so it is much more noticable. If the rest of my head had as much grey as my beard, then I'd have to change my hair color the next time I get my drivers license.

However, in the shower today I noticed something. No, move your mind up a bit - down there is just fine. It is my chest. Of course it is going grey as well. Or at least one small section. The part right at the top center of my chest. You know, the only part that can be seen when my collar is open. Why is it, that only the visible hair is turning grey. The rest is the same brown it has always been (well I don't know about my back - which is where the head on my hair is retreating to as it loses the battle above).

Now I like my chest hair - just why does the only part that shows have to be the only part that is grey? I'm not going to shave it - that is just a wee bit too effiminate for me, thank you very much, but I'll keep my testosterone right where it is.

Still - you'd think I could catch a break getting old, and not have to declare every single piece of it so openly to the world.

The one comforting thought to all of this is at least I'm not a teenager anymore. And then to show that the universe really isn't fair, and truly hates me, I get a big zit on my face.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Feeling better

Well went to the dr. today. Nice new offices, I hate to think how much I paid for :-). But I decided not to go on Welbutrin yet.

It is funny (weird, ironic, you pick) but as soon as I made the appointment, in general I started feeling better. Maybe it is tied into the weather - the dr. mentioned that, and it is something I've never paid much attention to before - but I know that during the holidays I'm usually pretty down (not that it has to do with all the crap that has happened during the holidays in the past).

However the sun has been out, though it still may rain today. Weatherbug says it is currently 74 outside. For some reason I've noticed lately that we NEVER are anywhere near the 'normal' temperature - always really high or low. But I'll take some more days in the 70's - I may even get outside for a bit. Diane has the windows open - which she loves, though I've never cared for it in Ohio (too humid, and doesn't really seem to cool off much for sleeping, plus all the pollen and crap).

He was pretty happy about the weight loss. Lately everyone seems to be noticing it. I wish I felt as good about it as they all do :-). I still see a big belly, thighs that rub together too much, etc. The doc was a bit concerned, thinking that the BMI recommendations may be a bit too far. He had mentioned some formula (that I can't remember darn it) about taking X + height in inches to get your ideal weight - mine would come out to be 155 - then you can go above that like 10% (or close to it, I don't know how he got the 17) - for 172 - which is the weight watchers goal. He is going to be happy just to see me under 200 (fully clothed darn it - weigh four pounds more at dr office with shoes & crap than I did last week at WI).

They took blood (had to stick both arms - even without the fat I'm still not a good drug addict), and will check my cholesterol and thyroid, though he did give me a new script for the latter.

It is nice using the grill again. Made burgers last night (ok, I had Boca burgers - hamburgers just so blow my points out) (and there is probably something wrong about having Boca burgers with Bacon on them - but I can't tell all that much difference once you add some lettuce, onions and cheese (and the bacon of course))). Tonight is is chicken - and according to the nutritional info on the bag the chicken quarters we get aren't as bad as I thought, which is good.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Up and Down

Hmm, good and bad things going on. A bit of a rough day.

For fun (and c'mon, I'm not the only one who does this) I googled myself today - and found at least one (I didn't have a chance to look for how many others there were) other blog that has linked here - and from the philipines no less. Thanks battik! Looks like I may have actually broken into single digits for my readership! :-)

And I got feedback from someone I've never heard of as well - and that always makes my day (not like I'm begging for it or anything (please, please oh please!) :-). So thanks acwo as well.

Diane bought tickets for me to take my son to Rent in two weeks - that should be fun, he really likes the music.

On the downside, I've realized that today marks exactly 18 months since we sent Katie to her program, and a lot of frustration is coming up. For more details that anyone could ever want, check out my blog specifically about that Parents of a Troubled Teen BLog. So I'm feeling pretty down today, thinking about the cost, and her not working, and all what happens if she doesn't graduate or we run out of funding. I'm usually really good and not being in my "stuff" about this, but sometimes it takes over, if even for a little while.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who am I?

Something has been rattling around in the emptiness of the maze within my head lately, an the echoes are simply incredible.

Everyone, within their own mind, holds their self image. This is who they see when they close their eyes, how they view themselves. It is a bit disturbing when this starts to change unexpectedly.

It took me a while to bring my own self image back into reality. Even when I turned 40, in my head I was still just out of college. It took me twenty years to become Mr. Carter - that simply wasn't who I saw myself as. Then the other pieces sunk in. Fat. Balding. What hair isn't falling out is turning grey. Middle aged. Has bouts of depression (and on a side note, why do I feel so much better this week, after making the appointment to get drugs next week?). Loves to play games. Is good at abstract / board games. Is mediocre at war / miniature games. Is a decent miniature painter, and can produce good table top quality minatures. Is a husband and father.

One of the longest things was getting past that I was a 28" waist when I graduated high school. That was close to 25 years ago. I was skinny growing up. But once I graduated high school, all exercise I was getting in marching band was done for good. And I drank more beer. It is real easy to blame beer on the fact that I kept eating like I did in high school.

I can't recall, as an adult, when I was under 200 lbs. I remember sometime in the past being concerned that I was over 200 - but not when. I've been there for so long, it is part of me. But that is changing.

Weigh in yesterday - down 2 lbs. This puts me at 200.6 . If I have a good week I'll shatter that barrier next week - but even without that it is coming down and soon. And I'm having problems with it.

One of my goals was to get in 38" pants. I thought that was reasonable. Well I'm there. And right now, they aren't even tight. Not like my old ones, but not tight. They will be loose soon. And then I'll have to buy some more. Part of me is thinking I shouldn't have bought the shorts, as I won't be wearing them.

As I lost the 52.2 lbs so far (27.8 to go!) (that is also a scary thought) I moved backward through my closet, pulling out the older pants that I used to wear. I was in 38" five years ago, right before I had my gall bladder out. But I'll be in 36" soon, and maybe even less. I can't picture myself like that.

I bought three new workout shirts, size large. They are loose, which is good, I don't like tight shirts when I work out. Diane also suggest I buy a new polo shirt. I wore it yesterday. No big deal - except that it was a Medium size, and it fit. Not really even tight around the belly. Medium shirt doesn't fit my self image - and the thought of possibly going to a Men's small - that frightens me.

I'm not a big guy, and am even less so now that I've become the incredible shrinking man. My shoe size is 7 1/2 - almost the smallest they make in Mens - and I have small feet for a man. Small enough so that I can do the 'impossible'. There is an exercise you can do to show the difference between men and women. Stand against a wall, facing it. Take 4 steps back, toe to heel. (I think it is 4, it could be 5, I don't remember exactly.) Lean forward, so your head is against the wall you will feel you balance shift so the wall is supporting you. Have someone put a chair below you. Reach down - women can lift it easily - men can't lift it all. It has to do with balance, center of gravity and weight distribution. Women's center of gravity is lower, so they can get the leverage to lift the chair. Men's is higher - they can't do it.

We did this at scout camp. None of the boys could lift the chair without cheating. None of the leaders could. Except for me. I could. It was difficult. Very, very difficult. And not because the chair was heavy. If I moved an inch or two back I could not do it. But because my feet are so small (dare I say, like a woman's feet) then I wasn't far enough from the wall to completely throw my balance off - very close but not quite there.

So I'm not a big guy, and won't be at all when I'm no longer fat. But wearing a Men's small shirt? And what size pants will I end up in - 36? 34? 32?

I won't give up on the program. I'll buy new clothes. I'll even buy the correct sizes. But changing how I see myself - and recognizing that person in the mirror - that is getting much, much harder than doing this diet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I want to go back to Hell

Or more specifically, Hell, Cayman Islands. Yes, it is officially spring now. Weatherbug is even showing that it is 66 outside. It just isn't the same.

We visited Grand Cayman on our delayed honeymoon, back in November of 2003. It was part of a Western Caribean cruise, that hit the cruise lines private beach in the Bahamas (not technically in the Caribean, but with all the sun and free food there, who really cares), Grand Cayman, Mexico (Costa Maya and Cozumel). The Mexican pyramids were kind of cool, but I'm just not into Mexican culture (having grown up in the Southwest, I had it force fed to me for most of my public school education - in my home town there were many more Martinez, Lopez and Guiterez in the phone book than Smith or Jones).

On the stop at Grand Cayman, we swam with stingrays, visited the turtle farm, and went to Hell (and I sent a "I've been to Hell and Back" postcard to work from there, with the appropriate "Wish you were here!" on it!). We ate turtle burgers. It was just a great time.

I so want a vacation - one that is all about taking it easy and having fun, low in stress. The only stress we had for the entire cruise was the cost, and we just put it on a credit card and didn't think about it (though putting the 'responsible' hat back on, we are still paying that off - as we rolled that card balance into a 2nd mortgage). Now if Diane would just land a sale of a house for a couple million, then we could actually afford it.

So it isn't California Dreaming - it is Caribean Dreaming!

Monday, March 19, 2007

starting to slip - time to put on some brakes

I haven't been posting much lately, and that bothers me because I hate to lose my reader due to not having anything to read. And if I lose that one, who knows when I'll get another, and I worked hard to get that one!

There is a reason, and I'm just starting to admit it.

For all my adult life, and probably even as a teenager, I've had to deal with depression. It isn't a constant thing, but it is something I have become aware of. If I think back, I can remember a couple of times in college where it hit me, but I didn't realize it at the time. It wasn't until we first moved to Ohio about 18 years ago that I was diagnosed the first time. The doctor put me on Prozac, and I turned into an absolute zombie. I won't do that ever again.

Many years later I tried Welbutrin, and that did a good job for me. I don't like taking it, but there are times when I realize that I need it. The good thing is that I have gotten to the point where I can recognize the need for it before it gets too far advanced.

I don't know what triggers the episodes. I have never actually tried to track them. I know I was on Welbutrin during my divorce, which started ten years ago. I've been on and off it a few times since - usually for about six to nine months will do the trick.

I'm almost out of thyroid pills (for low thyroid, a condition fairly rare in men (much more common in women) that both of my sisters and I all inherited from our mother). (Of course when I was diagnosed with it, the doctor asked if there were any family history, to which I replied no, because I'd never heard about it. Well it turns out my mom had been taking the pills since my oldest sister was born. The unfortunate thing is that both my sisters have it much worse than I do, probably because they were diagnosed later in life (like 4 and 10 years) than I was, giving their thyroid that much more time to wear out. At least I'm aware this is something that can be passed down, so I'll remind all the kids to have it checked regularly).

So I've got a dr. appt for next monday, to get more Thyroid pills, check my cholesterol (I quit taking the pills for that when I ran out - but I have done the 'weight loss and diet' that he had been harping on me about for quite some time, plus taking fish oil twice a day), and I'll get a new prescription for 'happy pills' as well.

I wouldn't mind these so much, if there were some actual physical symptoms to this. I wish there were a blood test or something to measure the chemicals in your brain, or anything. But as it is, this is something that doesn't seem physical at all to me. It all seems mental and emotional and that is so very hard to admit that I have a problem there. As much as times change, there is still a stigma toward any type of mental and emotional disorders.

Unless, of course, you are famous. I could always shave my head, flash my crotch and go into rehab like Brittany Spears followed by the paparazzi - or just take care of my problems like a responsible adult.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tiny bit

Down as little as I can be and still be down - 0.2 lbs. I seemed to be having such a good week as well. Sometimes are just tougher than others to not eat as much.

Diane had one of the people we know from our seminars email her about talking to a friend of a friend about their child who is having some issues. I talked to the friend and the grandmother, the mother may call this weekend. I gave them the blog and referral page, as well as the referral phone number for the admission service for the schools.

It sounds like the child needs some help, though I do not agree with their reasons for her behavior at all - however one of the biggest tennants I believe in is to not judge the beliefs of others. I'm not one to quote the bible much, but it does say "Judge not, lest ye be judged", as well as the often misquoted "let he who is without this sin cast the first stone." I'm not perfect, and I will not judge the beliefs of others, so long as they respect mine.

I hope they are able to find the help they need.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Big 50!

Hit is yesterday, dead on. And they gave me a magnet as well as another gold star (woohoo!) Yes, as of weigh in yesterday I have officially lost 50 lbs (so I weighed in at 202.8). Next is to finally get my fat butt under 200 for the first time that I can remember in my adult life. I was this close about 5 years ago on Atkins, though back then it was a total of 38 lbs.

The biggest problem right now is I don't have very many 40" waist pants - and I don't want to go and get more as this is purely a 'transition' size. My original goal was to be back in 38's - but then I saw that is actuall still considered 'overweight'. That and from the way I'm going, I should be in 36's by the time I'm done. Now I have lots of 38's, but not many 40's (like 2 pair, plus 2 pair of jeans (I found another pair the other day). Only one pair of 38 jeans though.

I have nothing smaller than 38 however. So I figure now is the time to get in the stretchy 38's, the 42's are hanging on me, and there is only so much that you can make up for with a belt, plus the bunched fabric under the belt isn't very comfortable. So I am 62.5% of my goal, and still going well. I've had 5 bad weeks out of 28 weeks on weight watchers.

Of course, being the math/computer geek that I am, I graph this stuff, and try to average it out and make predictions. The safest thing is that I should hit goal before a year - sometime around 11 months at this rate, which would put it in July. So I won't be at goal when I become a keyholder, but that is ok, I could be on my last 10 by then (assuming 8 weeks after the next keys, which is the weekend of April 14th, so that assumes my final keys on June 16-17).

The hardest thing for me is the desire to just say "F#$% it!" and go pig out on something. And I still seem to be hungry a lot, which I take as a good sign (when I'm not hungry I don't lose anything).

We did go to Outback last night for dinner - and I actually had the points for dinner. Not for the appetizer sampler or bread though, so eat into the weekly points there. Plus on Friday I'm meeting an former co-worker at Voltzy's Weiner World - best burgers around - like I need that! So tomorrow I need to get my fat butt up real early and come in and work out first thing - I really need the activity points if I'm going to eat even a couple of burgers there.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Chain letters

Way back when, there used to be things called chain letters - where you were expected to make actual copies of letters and send them to people you knew, with good luck to follow if you kept this up, and horrible misfortune soon to hit you if you dared to break the chain.

This was a nasty thing, and not many people kept the chains going because it actually cost money, specifically stamps.

So why do so many people do this with emails? Because it doesn't cost them anything directly? It is still SPAM, and costs the people running the servers. It is junk mail. And if you actually read it, it tries to make you feel guilty because you don't want to continue to waste peoples time, energy and money with propigating it.

Yes, I have passed along jokes, and an occasional nice email. I have tried to never request that these be forwarded however. If I like a sentiment then I may send it out to several people, but I don't ask them to pass it on.

I guess it is a pet peeve of mine really. Just another little annoyance in our modern world. I should be thankful if this is all that I have to be annoyed about - when so many other people have real problems to be concerned with.

So if I don't resend out the SPAM you sent me, it isn't because I'm a selfish heartless bastard who doesn't care about anything or anyone other than himself. I'm not denying that I'm a selfish heartless bastard. That's just not why I don't send it out. Email chain letters are as bad their now defunct snail mail conterparts, and I refuse to participate in them.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Well crap

Up .2 lbs yesterday. Damn. I so hate being up, even a tiny bit. And it really hit me, because I was so fixated on hitting the big 50 this week. Figure it must have been last weekend. If in doubt, don't tyr and fudge it - just accept the higher numbers.

So we went and had chineese food - that was probably bad, and I have no honest way to count the points, so I just guessed a lot (35) for the meal. Of course got up this morning and I was even higher than my weigh in.

It does seem that when I really get my hopes up is when I blow it more. I really need to step back, work it, and not worry about individual numbers. That is hard though - it is so easy to get caught up in watching the scale.

So time to Stop. Look. Choose. Declare. Step Left.

This whole things makes me a bit philosophical as well. In so much literature, hope is put forth as the one thing that keeps people going. It was the one thing Pandora kept in her box.

I've wondered about that. Why was there one good thing in that box, or is hope in fact another evil in the world? Isn't is hope that keeps us from accepting a given situation, and by not accepting it, preventing us from changing it? Isn't is much more painful to have your hopes crushed than to not have them at all?

Maybe it is a bit more of a zen thing for me - it is much better to live and be in the moment. It seems that when you start to hope then you open up yourself to more disappointment and pain. Accept your current situation, whatever it may be. Don't hope for anything.

This doesn't mean you don't work to make things better if you want. That is entirely different. Hope seems to be this unfounded desire without anything behind it. Work for what you want, make the changes you need. Don't hope for them - do them. It is like hope is giving up control of your destiny, when in reality we are always in control of our lives - we are always accountable for our decisions, whether we choose to acknowledge that fact or not.

Each person chooses the results they have in their life. The only question is are we making those choices consciously, and are we accountable for them, or are we doing them unconsciously? What are the results we are seeing.

So back to talking about my fat butt. Yes, I have lot 47.8 lbs. And I will lose at least another 32.2 lbs. I will continue to work the program. And when I make mistakes, when I choose to not follow the program, I accept that these are my choices and be accountable for them. I will not let them deter me from my ultimate goal.