Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Weight Watchers Update

Weight Watchers, a Balanced Approach

In my last post I expressed my need for a Sane approach to eating, and also posted that I thought Weight Watchers might fit the bill.  Well, I've been on Weight Watchers now for a little over 3 months, and I have to say that I feel more relaxed and "sane" about food then I have in years.  In the past, whether I was "on a diet" or "off my diet", I felt stressed, anxious, frustrated, or just obsessed about food.

On Past Diets and Plans

See, in the past, no matter what diet I was on, or how healthy it might be,  it was always extreme in some way.  South Beach Diet was the least extreme, and the one I did best on, but even with it there were lists of foods you were never to have while on that plan.  I also tried Atkins, again extreme, with lists of foods you can't have. Veganism, whole food groups cut out.  Medifast, here eat nothing but freeze dried fake food, and one real meal each day, but make sure that real meal doesn't have a hint of starch or sugar, and that its low in fat too!  Calorie counting, going a few calories over meant I was "Off my diet", so I might as well enjoy it.  Everything I tried set up a situation where I couldn't have this or that, and if I did, I wasn't "On" the plan that day.

Measuring, counting, logging, or cooking occupied my mind every waking minute.  If I was calorie counting, and I had even a healthy item that put me over my count for the day (like one too many oranges), I'd feel like a failure and be tempted to just quit.  Eventually I would quit, and then I'd go to my "not dieting" eating pattern.

Past times not dieting

The times when I wasn't trying were no saner.  I might not have had a list of "No" foods, but I also had NO restraint or control.  Pizza one day, McDonalds the next, Ice Cream for desert, a big bowl of buttered popcorn while I watched a movie, and candy bar when I went through the checkout line. I have to enjoy myself because I know that next week I'll be starting the diet, or "health plan".  Only when next week got there I would put off for one more week. All the while I'd be suffering from guilt and shame about what I was doing.  I was not happy or at peace at all.

Why Weight Watchers is different.

Weight Watchers is different for many reasons.  First, there is so much flexibility built into the program, no food is strictly off limits.  You have a bank of optional weekly points to go to if you want something that wouldn't fit within your daily points.  And you can "save" up to 4 points each day to add to that weekly bank of points.  What this means, is if I have a day where I eat a little more than usual, I'm not "Off Plan", I'm just using my weeklies.  Second, there are so many foods I don't have to even log, fruits, vegetables, baked chicken breast, eggs, beans, lentils, and plain fat free yogurt are all zero points and logging them is optional.  So I no longer have to feel like eating an orange puts me off plan, and I no longer have to measure literally every item I eat.  Third, weight watchers is different in that it is teaching me how to use moderation with those foods that I really do need use moderation with.  Sure, I can have ice cream, but I do need to watch how much.  I also can have more if its an ice cream with protein in it like "Halo Top"  I can eat bread, but its probably not a great idea to eat 5 rolls in one meal.  I can have wine, but I probably shouldn't have wine if I've already had Ice Cream twice that day.  I need to pick my indulgence.  I think those are the main things that make Weight Watchers different.  I can honestly see myself eating like this for the rest of my life.

Yes, I can honestly see myself eating like this for the rest of my life, and that's what I need. 

I mean, if you are someone who doesn't have a lifelong struggle with eating disorders and weight trouble, for instance if you typically have healthy eating habits but just gained a little weight over the holidays or while you were pregnant, then a simple diet might be fine for you. You might be able to cut out all sugar and simple carbs for a time, and then go back to your regular eating.  A 30 day eating challenge, or a 90 day Fitness program might be just what you need.  But if you are like me, and you don't have a "normal" eating pattern to go back to... then you need something permanent, no 30 day or 90 day plan is going to help you if, once its over, you are back to buying to candy bars every time you go through a check out lane, or back to eating fast food every week, or to simply overeating in general.  

So if you find that you are in the same boat as me, and really, really, need an approach that is not extreme, and does not require you to completely give up every food you enjoy.  If you are looking for an approach that teaches you HOW to eat, instead of how to diet, may I suggest giving weight watchers a try?

I'm losing weight too.

Oh yeah, in addition to being more relaxed and not so obsessed about food.  The past three months have shown on the scale too, in the last three months I've lost 17.4 pounds, which brings me to a loss of 28.5 pounds this year, and down 33.4 pounds from my highest weight.  Now, it isn't always as fast as I'd like, but its working, and I'm not having to stress or deny myself everything I like or go hungry.


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Monday, January 29, 2018

Seeking Sanity

Practicing Insanity

The definition of insanity

Most likely you have heard before that the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing over and over, while thinking that this time, you'll get different results.

photo courtesy of diaan11 at

Well, during the last two weeks I've started getting the feeling that hopping right back on the calorie counting wagon would be literally practicing insanity. I mean, I have tried it over and over again, and each time, eventually I burn out.  I get tired of measuring, counting, logging, every single thing I eat.  Sometimes I've managed to hold out over a year, other times a few months, and sometimes I've not even made it a week before giving up.  So I really was not surprised at all when I started to lapse on my calorie log here and there, to "just have that now, and I'll log it later",  only to find that in a short time I've had so many little somethings that I can't possibly remember everything in order to log it.

Sometimes, I would do the best I could to recreate the log after the fact, other times I would fall into my "all or nothing" mindset and figure since I'd blown it I might as well eat all I wanted and restart tomorrow.

Now, don't get me wrong, the past two weeks haven't been disastrous, diet-wise.  I've actually done pretty well, there was a slight rebound of weight before I even started to struggle, and after that it basically leveled off.  That is normal when someone loses a whole bunch in the first couple of weeks of a diet, the weight often rebounds back a few pounds in week two, three, or four.  Today I weighed in at 271, which is 2.8 pounds less than I was two weeks ago, the last time I reported my weight. It also puts me 20 pounds less than my highest weight, and over 15 pounds lost in 2018.  However, even though I haven't done too badly, I see myself heading in that direction with my behaviors and mindset, and it concerns me.

Obsessing over food

In addition to struggling to count and log, I also notice that if I have a day when I perhaps eat more than I usually do at lunch, I spend the rest of my day obsessing.  Worrying that I'll go over or that I'll spend the evening hungry and not allowed to eat anything.  All of this obsessing does me no good, if anything obsessively thinking about food just makes me want to EAT ALL THE FOOD!

Graphic courtesy of

This has made me think that surely, there must be a better approach, some way to learn to just eat normally.  A way that if I have a large lunch one day, I can still eat a normal dinner if I'm hungry again later without feeling like I've blown it.

Previous reaches for sanity

Of course this isn't the first time I've tried to find a more natural, normal, sane way of eating. I've tried Weigh Down Workshop, a program that teaches you to listen to your body, and never to eat even one bite if you aren't feeling clear signals of physical hunger coming from your body, and to stop eating the moment your body is satisfied enough to stop sending those signals.  That program worked somewhat, but didn't allow for any kind of tracking and even discourages you from refraining to eat something you want because its high in fat or sugar.  The attitude is very much that if you are physically hungry, you should always satisfy that hunger with whatever you are craving and not really give any thought to the nutrient content of the food.  That program was also a little inflexible about ever eating when you are not hungry, and there are times when you need to. For example, if you start work at 8:00 in the morning, and don't get a chance for lunch break until 1:00, and you know you are going to be ravenous by 1:00, I think its acceptable to eat breakfast before work, even if your stomach is not growling with hunger.  There were other things about that program that were of concern to me, but suffice it to say it just wasn't a great fit for me.

I've also tried go the route of reducing carbs, but being allowed to eat whenever I wanted as long as it wasn't high in carbohydrates, this worked pretty good for a while, but eventually I craved carbohydrates, I wanted to eat a darn orange or a peace of bread!

I also tried veganism, I didn't lose any weight.  There are lots of fattening vegan foods, even Twinkies are vegan. 

I've tried to out-exercise my appetite, that actually worked as long as I could carve out 1 1/2 to 2 hours for intense exercise every single day, but how sustainable is that plan? Not sustainable at all really.

In addition to these, I've tried South Beach diet (most successful diet I was ever on, but I didn't sustain the loss on that one either), and Medifast, the diet that made me want someone to shoot me so I wouldn't have to eat another freeze dried "meal".

What I need

All of this got me to thinking, I need a program that teaches me how to eat normally, but that doesn't expect me to already know how. I know I'm a compulsive over eater, who eats for all kinds of reasons besides physical hunger.  Trying to just eat healthier, or just to stop when I'm satisfied, doesn't work for me right now.  I want to learn how, but I can't go from completely disordered eating to intuitive healthy eating in one giant leap, I need structured steps to get me there.

So I started researching for some plan that provided those steps, with enough structure so that I might actually lose weight.

As I researched, I told myself that whatever I found had to be something I could keep doing all my life if I wanted the weight loss to be permanent, I decided that I shouldn't do anything to lose the weight that I can't feasibly see myself keeping up for the rest of life.

What I found

What I found was Weight Watchers.  There is enough structure in the points system to keep me from sitting down and eating half a pizza, but enough freedom to go ahead and have a couple of slices once in a while.

There are enough zero point foods, that if I do eat a little more at one meal, I can still have something to eat later, so I don't have to obsess over not being able to have dinner, and I really have no justification in thinking I might as well just give up and start again tomorrow.  I can just finish out the day on zero point foods, such as skinless chicken breast, any vegetables I want, and some fruit, and the next day my points renew again.  I also have a bank of "weekly" points that are optional, to be used if need them. So really, I should never really have to feel like I've messed up so bad I might as well throw in the towel.

However, these zero points foods are not really "free foods", we are encouraged to be mindful of how much we are consuming, and to stop and check our hunger signals every now and then.  To ask ourselves, "Do I need more, or do I just want it because I can have it?" The theory is that no one is going to sit and eat 18 oz of chicken breast, it is so filling, that even a compulsive over eater will probably turn away.  The same goes for the other zero point foods, they are "low risk" foods, not what people tend to binge on. Even if a person was to sit down and eat 18 oz of baked chicken breast, they are going to feel so full with all that protein, that it isn't likely they'll turn and eat something else afterward, and that 18 oz of chicken is 504 calories, not a lot when you think of how long you'd be full afterward.

The "higher risk" foods all have point values that need to be tracked and counted, but if you go a little over you have a bank of optional points to draw from.

The focus is all about mindset thinking about food differently, but with enough structure given to act as "training wheels" while you are learning. It gives enough freedom to actually learn, but not enough to easily crash. Basically, it gives you the support and helping hand you need to make it.

Courtesy of Tumisu,

I'm pretty sure its just what I need.  So a couple of days ago I signed up, and tonight was my first meeting. 

Not just about food though

I know I have a lot of work to do to learn how to eat normally. I know I'll need to really deal with the emotional reasons I eat.  I may need to seek treatment for my PTSD.  I know that being sexually abused by one person before I was old enough to go to kindergarten, and then continually abused for many years thereafter by another, and finally being raped at 14 by another has a lot to do with why I developed this unhealthy coping mechanism.  The experience having a flashback to being that preschool child begging to be allowed to get dressed, of feeling all those same feelings... that is quite often the thing that precipitates an eating binge.  I'll eat and eat until I'm numb and the feelings are deadened.  I know that I'll need to deal with all of this if I want to really succeed, but I think that Weight Watchers is going to help me on the physical side while I am healing on the mental, emotional, and spiritual level,


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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week Two Muddle Through

The Week 2 "Curse"

A spectacle made known through reality T.V.

Anyone who has ever watched "Biggest Loser" has observed the phenomenon known as the "Week 2 Curse". For those who haven't ever watched the show, it refers to the tendency of all of the contestants on the show to not have very good results on during week 2 of their weight loss efforts, despite trying every bit as hard as they did on week 1.  Of course, "not very good results" is relative, on the show, someone losing 5 pounds in a single week was looked at as a failure, while in the eyes of most of us OFF the show, 5 pounds in a week is awesome.

For me, I can't really say I've experienced the week 2 curse in the same way.  Whenever I've tried to lose weight, providing that I stick with my plan, the second week doesn't usually go as well as the first, but I haven't really seen it bring awful results.

I experience the predicament of week 2 differently.

Instead, what I often notice in week 2 of any healthy eating plan, is that I have more of a tendency to delude myself and make excuses to not stay on plan by not keeping track, eating something I know will put me over my calorie limit for the day, or more likely, to do all of both of those things simultaneously.

This week was no exception, twice this week I binged. Both times I failed to track what I was eating while it was happening. Both times I went back and did my best to record the calories after the fact, and I think I came pretty close to accuracy.

Unacknowledged, or unrecognized emotions.

I've done a lot of thinking, and I know exactly why I starting binge eating the first time. Something was troubling me and I didn't acknowledge the feeling or even attempt to deal with it. Instead I just ate. The second time I really don't know what happened, but I also note that the second time was much more controlled than the first, yes, I ate more than I should have, but I did know exactly how much I ate, even though I waited until I was through to record it.  Perhaps the second time can't really be called a binge, but was rather just an incident of overeating.

Anyway, the first time happened after I took my old dog Spunky for a long walk.  I have only recently started walking him again, and he is old and out of shape. He has some arthritis, and a bad knee, but he still enjoys his walks immensely, the problem is that he doesn't always know what is good for him, he will walk a long distance if I let him, and then when we turn around to head home he struggles to make it back.  He really needs me to look out for him in that way, and turn around soon enough to get him home before he is worn out.

Well, that day, I failed him.  I went to far with him.  On the route back he lagged way behind on the end of of his retractable leash, and by the time we got home he was limping, not just on his back leg with the bad knee, but on one of his front legs as well.  I observed all of this, but rather than acknowledge it or deal with how I felt I just sat around feeling vaguely agitated and eventually started eating.  When I had eaten enough that I started to feel not so good physically, I stopped, and it was only after stopping that I finally became aware of what I was actually feeling.  It was these unacknowledged emotions that had driven me to start binge eating.

The first emotion was guilt.  Guilt that I've neglected walking Spunky for so long that he's in such bad shape, guilt that I didn't turn around with him sooner like he needs, but instead kept walking further even though I know he isn't ready for that, and at his age may never be.  The second feeling I felt was worry, worry that with Spunky getting so much older, I know its only a matter of time before I will have to have him put down.  Right now, as long as I am careful not to overdo it with him, and as long as he gets his medication, he is okay and not really in a lot of pain, but he's a 13 year old lab mix, so I know that his time is short, and this is a source of stress to me.  Its not only that I don't want to lose him, its also that I don't want to have to make the decision of when. I have to somehow decide when his life no longer holds enough pleasure to be worth living, and that is really hard. It would be much easier if he were to just pass peacefully in sleep one night, but it looks more and more like I will probably have to make the call, and I am just not sure when that time should be.

The second time I overate was different, I did feel agitation, but I never did put my finger on what was bothering me that time.  I did put the brakes on on sooner, and kept better track of what I ate, but I never did manage to identify exactly what I was feeling, or what it was about. So in this case it was unrecognized emotions that started me going.

Week 2 Stats

Not bad for weight loss.

Week 2 really didn't go too badly as far as weight loss goes.  I started the week at 277 pounds, I ended the week at 272, which is a 5 pound loss for week, a 14.1 pound loss since the beginning of the year, and 19 pounds down from my highest weight.

Good progress on blood pressure

For the first time in a very long time my blood pressure is in the "normal" range. This morning was 121/83, at one point this week it was 117/79. Its finally out of the "hypertension" range, and is into the normal range, or sometimes just barely above it. 

Daily Log

Monday, January 8th

Calories Consumed: 1905
Active calorie burn: 444
Net Calories: 1461  (41 net calories over goal, but not too bad)
Exercise: Walking about 125 minutes,  about 5.14 miles

Tuesday, January 9th

Calories Consumed: 1602
Active calorie burn: 299
Net Calories: 1303
Exercise: Walking about 60 minutes, about 2.33 miles

Wednesday, January 10th

Calories Consumed: 3,202
Active Calorie Burn: 330
Net Calories: 2,872
Exercise: Walking about 93 minutes, about 3.77 miles

Thursday January 11th

Calories Consumed: 1507
Active Calorie burn: 321
Net Calories: 1186
Exercise: Walking about 88 minutes, about 3.85 miles

Friday January 12th

Calories Consumed: 2515
Active Calorie burn: 331
Net Calories: 2184
Exercise: Walking about 71 minutes, about 3.06 miles

Saturday, January 13th

Calories Consumed: 1545
Active Calorie Burn: 298
Net Calories: 1247
Exercise: Walking about 96 minutes, about 3.69 miles.

Sunday, January 14th

Calories Consumed: 1723
Active Calorie Burn: 303
Net Calories: 1420
Exercise: Walking about 85 minutes, about 3.43 miles.


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Monday, January 8, 2018

Awesome Health Headway in One Week

Fast Results in Week One

Significant weight loss.

I started out this year at 286.1 pounds.
This morning I weighed in at 277 pounds.  
That's 9.1 pounds gone in one week!
I think that's a significant amount of weight for that amount of time.

Improved blood pressure

Also, my blood pressure has dropped, on January 1st it ranged from 159/96 to 161/108.  Today it is 127/95.

What I did

A summary of week one.

So what did I do in the past week? 

In summary I kept my Net Calories at 1420 or lower all except for one day, and I walked a minimum of 30 minutes each day, some quite a bit more.  A more detailed report follows.

Detailed Report

January 1

Calories Consumed: 1582Active Calorie Burn: 486
Net Calories: 1096Exercise: 38 minute walk.
Steps Logged all day: 7,058

January 2nd

Calories Consumed:  1460
Active Calorie Burn: 510
Net Calories: 950
Exercise: 35 minute walk
Steps logged all day: 7,050

January 3rd

Calories Consumed: 1744
Active Calorie Burn: 788
Net Calories: 956
Exercise: 60 minutes walking.
Steps logged all day: 9,826

January 4th

Calories Consumed: 1868
Active Calorie Burn: 276
Net Calories: 1592
Exercise: 30 minute indoor walking routine (basically marching in place while waving my arms about)
Steps logged all day: 8,115

January 5th

Calories Consumed: 1493
Active Calorie Burn: 980
Net Calories: 513
Exercise: walked 73 minutes. 
Steps logged all day: 12,574

January 6th

Calories Consumed:1698
Active Calorie Burn: 314
Net Calories: 1,384
Exercise: Walked 84 minutes
Steps logged all day:10,318

January 7th

Calories Consumed: 1505
Active Calorie burn: 168
Net Calories: 1,337
Exercise: Walked 35 minutes
Steps logged all day: 6,641


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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Revitalizing My Blog Look, (along with myself)

Revamping my blog look for today's internet user

New header photo

Back when I first started this blog, (which was back in 2009 or 2010 though I've since deleted all old posts), most people read blogs on their desktop computers.  Now days most people are using their phones, tablets, or laptops.  I looked at my blog the other day on my phone, and it displayed just fine, however I noticed that on my laptop my header photo took up the whole screen, so that I didn't even see the first post title without scrolling down. 

I decided that if someone landed on my blog by chance, I really wanted them to be able to at least see my most recent post headline, to give them some reason for scrolling down.  So I spent yesterday's blogging time revamping my blog's appearance, starting with a new header photo courtesy of TeroVesaleinen on Pixabay, but with some of my own editing to personalize it for my blog.

Now, at least on my laptop, I am able to see the start of my blog posts without scrolling down, plus I think I like the general appearance of the new header better than the old one anyway.

New theme

Along with the new header photo, I've also chosen a new theme that better matches the new photo.  I guess since I am beginning my health journey all over from scratch, I wanted my blog to really a get fresh new start as well.

Working on better headlines

Along with a new header photo, I'm going to be thinking more carefully about titles and headlines for my blog posts, trying to be concise and attention grabbing.

Revamping myself

Of course, more important than revamping my blog is what I am doing to revitalize myself, which is the main topic of this blog for the near future.  

image courtesy of GDJ

Fitness stats this year so far

I started this year at this point:

Weight 286.1
Body Fat Percentage 48.5
Body Mass Index 45
Waist: 46.25 inches
Neck circumference: 17 inches
Hips: 54.2

January 1st stats were as follows:

Weight: 284.6
Morning Blood Pressure: 159/96
Morning Heart Rate: 72 bmp 

Calories Consumed: 1582
Calories Burned through activities and exercise: 486
Net Calories: 1096
Today's exercise: 38 minute walk.
Water consumed: 64 oz

Evening Weight: 286
Evening Blood Pressure: 161/108
Evening Heart Rate: 77

January 2nd stats:

Weight: 279.6
Morning Blood Pressure: 164/103
Morning Heart Rate: 73 bpm
Exercise: Walked about 1.3 miles, 35 minutes.
Total Calories: 1460
Active calorie burn: 510
Net Calories: 950

No evening stats for this day

January 3rd stats:

Weight: 278
Morning Blood Pressure: 141/103
Morning Heart Rate: 80
Exercise: Walked about 2.15 miles, about 60 minutes.
Total Calories: 1744
Active calorie burn: 788
Net Calories: 956

Today's stats so far (Jan 4th)

Weight: 280.2
Morning Blood Pressure: 158/100
Morning Heart Rate: 75 bpm (irregular heartbeat noted)
Exercise: 30 minutes indoor walking routine
Total Calories: 1868
Active calorie burn: 290
Net Calories: 1578
Evening Blood Pressure: 146/102
Evening Heart Rate: 69
Note: This evening I began taking the blood pressure medication Losartin, previously I had been taking lisinopril, but I was experiencing side affects, so I stopped while waiting for my doctor to prescribe an alternative.

At the time of this posting, I haven't yet done my exercise, but I will come back and edit the post later when I have.


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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Thinking about Labels

Labels, Not Only Used On Products

I've been thinking about labels today. Not the labels you see in stores, not the ones you look at to determine the nutrient content of your food.  No, I'm talking about a different kind of label, the kind that gets used on people. 

People bear labels too.

We all have bore various labels in our lifetime.  Some, we probably didn't mind, some we probably hated, and some may not have brought about any emotional response at all, but just seemed like a statement of fact.  Some of the following labels might be familiar to you; smart, funny, pretty, ugly, fat, healthy, skinny, stupid, sickly, gifted, challenged, disabled, dyslexic, autistic, disturbed, talented, musical, creative... the list could go on of course.

Labels I've had.

I've had many labels in my lifetime.  I remember one teacher who labeled me slow, and requested that I be sent for testing, the testing gave me a new label of gifted. Kids labeled me as weird.  Psychiatrists labeled me as troubled. At least one school developmental psychiatrist thought I had some form of autism spectrum disorder, though further evaluation never happened, let alone any kind of treatment. 

Later in life I had a psychologist or psychiatrist label me with social anxiety, low self esteem, and, after more sessions, with PTSD.  

The label I didn't believe.

Most of the labels I've been given by "experts" I've pretty much accepted. When a person tells you you have social anxiety and you know that it is true, why argue the point?  Or when someone tells you that you might have some form of high functioning autism or Asperger's syndrome, and it makes sense to you because you've always felt different, its easy to accept.  And when a teacher says you're gifted, but that you learn differently than most, its so much better than being called stupid that you just accept what they say.

However, the PTSD label I didn't believe at the time it was given to me.  That is because in my mind I saw PTSD as a crazed soldier who still thinks he is the middle of battle years later, in spite of the fact that all around him is ample evidence that he is home.  That really was all I knew about PTSD, the most extreme example of a flashback, complete with a total loss of any grip on reality.  I'm pretty sure TV was to blame for my impression of it.  Anyway, since I'd never been to war, and didn't experience flashbacks of that magnitude, I really didn't give much credit to the idea that I might actually be suffering from it.


In recent years though I've become much more accepting of the idea that this doctor I saw years ago was right.  In fact I now feel that I know he was.

This realization, or acceptance came primarily through learning more about the disorder itself.  Perhaps this learning took place just because I'm older, or perhaps because recent wars have caused many to become more aware of  PTSD, or perhaps its both of those, plus undergoing quite a bit of healing myself, that I'm now able to look back and see clearly how I suffered from this condition in the past. 

That's not to say I am "all better" or no longer have it.  I'm pretty sure some elements of it will be with me all my life, but I've learned to cope with it better, part of that healing came through talking about the traumatic events I endured as a child and teen, part of that healing has been through learning how to not dwell on events I can't change, part of its been through forgiving those who wronged me, and a large part of it was the divine work of God, that I can't really explain.

I don't want to get into the trauma in this post, I will say that some of the worse events happened to me when I was very young, before first grade, and that I used to flash back to those events in a way. Not that I was unaware of my actual surroundings or believed the events to be happening again, but just that in my mind they would play out in vivid detail, and I would once again feel all shame, hurt, self-loathing, and defilement... just as if the things were happening in the present.  For the most part now, that doesn't happen, I mean it still can if I let it, but I've learned how to stop reliving it.  I've learned how to reconnect with the present and turn my thoughts towards things that are true now.

I'm not really sure why I am writing this today, except perhaps that I let my guard down today and started to relive all of those feelings again, and then I realized what was happening and put a stop to it. 

Living up to the labels

I realize that a lot of my past self destructive behavior was an attempt to at times numb these feelings, and at other times to make the way the way this made me feel about myself make sense.  What I mean by that is this, the trauma left me feeling defiled, unworthy, ashamed, and unloveable, and I see now that a lot of my past self-destructive behavior amounted to making those things "true" about me.  As if I was subconsciously saying, "Well, I feel defiled and unworthy, so I might as well deserve those feelings.  I feel ashamed, so I might as well do things worth being ashamed of, I feel unloveable, so I might as well push all love far away from me.

This resulted in a lot of behaviors over the years, in my teen years it was shown through drug and alcohol abuse and promiscuity, as a young adult through sabotaging relationships before they could really start, and later through being overly conservative, restrained, and traditional, almost to point of legalism, through most of my adult years I also sought to literally stuff my feelings down with food, and insulate myself through a layer of fat.

Getting past the labels.

So yes, many labels can describe me, but I am coming to understand that none of them should or can define me. There is so much more to me and to what God wants for me than what any label can define. 

Today's Stats

Weight: 279.6
Morning Blood Pressure: 164/103
Morning Heart Rate: 73 bpm
Exercise: Walked about 1.3 miles, 35 minutes.

The rest of stats won't be determined for a while, I'll be babysitting my grandkids until close to midnight, and I want to publish this before then, so won't be listing  my total calories and all that today.  However, I am tracking on MFP, and I will include all of the days stats in my weekly summary post.

All images and photos used  above in this post are free images courtesy of


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Monday, January 1, 2018

Every Journey Begins with a Single Step

Today Was Step One

Every journey starts with a single step, and the journey to health is not different.  Today is step one, and today went pretty well for step one. Now, if I can only take 364 more steps like that I'll hit the bulls-eye I wrote about yesterday.  However, first I want to take note of where I am starting from, so that I'll be able to compare at various points in my journey, and see how far I've come.

Beginning 2018 Body Measurements 

Weight 286.1
Body Fat Percentage 48.5
Body Mass Index 45
Waist: 46.25 inches
Neck circumference: 17 inches
Hips: 54.2

So that is my starting point. 

Now I'll share some mini-goals to help me on my journey. 

Mini goals for January 2018

1. Weigh myself at least every Monday, and record that weight publicly here. I may report my weight more often, but I'll do it at least that often. I know a lot of people don't think weighing yourself often is good, but for me it seems like when I weigh myself regularly, I stay on track better. 

2. Walk or do some other form of mild cardio for 30 minutes or more every day this month.

3. Record my calories on My Fitness Pal, and share the totals for each day on here, along with how I did in general that day.

4. Do my very best to keep my NET* calories at 1420 or less each day, which is what My Fitness Pal says I need to do in order to reach my goal for the year.  (Actually, according to My Fitness Pal, if I stick to that as my net calories, I should surpass my goal for 2018, because my goal is to lose 96.1 pounds this year, which breaks down to 1.85 pounds per week, that net calorie goal will supposedly result a 2 pound per week loss.  However, I know that sometimes there can be miscalculations, or the occasional day where I don't stay in my range for whatever reason, so I figured that the difference might be kind of a "cushion" to help during those time.)

*Net calories are the calories consumed, minus the calories burned off through exercise.  For me I am letting my vivofit tracker determine how many calories I've burned, it subtracts all active calories, not just those burned through an actual workout, so lets say my workout is a 30 minute walk, but I was also very active working that day, the vivofit figures out what I've burned beyond my resting calorie burn, and subtracts that from my total calories to arrive at my net calories.

5. Pray and read my Bible every day. Perhaps this should have been goal #1, but I'm not really listing them in order of importance.

6. Post here at least twice a week to report how I'm doing.

7. Reassess on that last Monday of this  month, and adjust goals, or set new mini-goals for February. 

So those are my goals for January. Now here are my stats for day one.

Day 1 Stats

Weight: 284.6
Morning Blood Pressure: 159/96
Morning Heart Rate: 72 bmp 

Calories Consumed: 1582
Calories Burned through activities and exercise: 486
Net Calories: 1096
Today's exercise: 38 minute walk.
Water consumed: 64 oz

Evening Weight: 286
Evening Blood Pressure: 161/108
Evening Heart Rate: 77

Bible passages read: Genesis 1-3, Matthew 1


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