Workout and shout out

Today is day 12 in the gym out of the last 16 days.

Five days a week for the past 2 weeks and 2 days.

I want to thank Joshua Samuel for giving me a workout routine that fits my experience, age, and ability.

I’ve never met Joshua except in the social media world. He’s an actor, bodybuilder, ex-marine based out of LA. He and I butt heads over a lot of hot topic areas but that hasnt stopped us from becoming friends. Thanks for your help Joshua.

Monday- chest, Tuesday- shoulders, Wednesday- back, Thursday- legs, Friday- arms and abs

Stuck but ok?

My weight is still at a standstill. I havent dropped or gained any weight in more than 3 weeks. I am frustrated, yes, but not losing my focus.

The two things that have changed in that time have been my thyroid medication dosage and I’ve added a new workout routine.

Both probably are playing into my weight loss issue.

I am going to see a thyroid specialist on Monday, hopefully that will help.

As for my workout routine…it’s pretty standard but I am working out five days a week. Each day targets a new area…chest, shoulders, back, legs, arms. I’m not lifting heavy weights but low weights and high reps.

So. I honestly dont know if it’s my thyroid or workout routine or both that is stopping my weight loss.

But I am seeing results in my physical self. I’m seeing muscles that I’d forgotten I had. I’m feeling stronger. So if there’s a silver lining to all this, it’s that.

Maybe it’s time I switch from the keto diet towards something more practical for the rest of my life. I never intended to eat keto forever. I’ve wanted to be in a place where I can eat anything in moderation without gaining weight. Want a pizza? Eat a pizza. Want ice cream? Eat it! That’s my ultimate goal. To lose weight and teach myself how to eat smarter.

Workout routine

I am on week three of a new workout program. Five days a week of isolated workouts! I never thought I’d be able to workout five days a week yet here I am.

Each day works a certain part of the body.

Monday: chest

Tuesday: shoulders

Wednesday: back

Thursday: legs

Friday: arms and abs.

I do 20-30 minutes of elliptical cardio as well.

I feel stronger already. I can flex muscles I’d forgotten I had. Still a LONG way to go but I am happy to feel progress.

Today is Wednesday so I’m off the wreck my back! Lat pulldown, cable rows, deadlifts! Look at me getting all swolefied!

Me. No more hiding.

I was blind to who I had become. I knew I was fat but I tricked myself into thinking that was all I was.

The truth is I had become a shell of who I was, who I needed to be. At my heaviest, at the end of last year, I avoided physical activities, was angry most of the time, stopped being the husband and father my family deserved. I was there, a part of the family, but a hollow me. I stared at my smartphone, aimlessly flipping through apps like a bored person staring in a refrigerator thinking something new would jump out.

If my children drew a picture of me I would be holding a phone in my hand.

I’ve spoken before, in previous posts, how it took me a long time to understand the depth I had fallen. How long it took me to prepare for change. Now I’m four months into this change and I’m happy, but I have setbacks, I have bad days. I have the tremendous fear I will fall back to old habits.

So I’m sharing a photo of me. One I hate to see more than anything. Me, with no shirt on. No adjusting my shirt to hide the belly fat, no more XXXL shirts so I could hide my gut.

This is me, a few months ago. Even with 45 dropped from my body this picture is still pretty accurate for how I look. It reminds me of how long I have to go.

I have no idea if anyone reads these blogs. I dont really care. I’m writing and sharing them for me. So I can look back at the first year or me.

My Voice Is Back

I’m at the gym.

My Voice is here.

I try to block it out but the voice in your head is the loudest voice there is.

You failed. You’re a failure. It’s too late.

Give up.

Look at the guy. Look at her. Look at their form, their muscles. They’re better than you. You’re doing it wrong. Put the weights down and go home. Sit on the couch. Watch a tv show. Eat. Eat it all.

You failed.

M Voice shows up a lot. A constant reminder of me. A constant reflection of who I am, then and now.

Am I a failure?

Give up.

You’re fat. Nothing will change that.

The funny thing about my Voice is it comes in flashes. Moments of self doubt. Moments of humbleness. Random moments.

Yet as quickly as it arrives, it can be pushed aside. By a song, a friend, a look in the mirror. A glance of approval from a stranger reassures you everything is fine and you can keep moving forward.

Today my Voice was pushed aside by lyrics from a song by Common that danced into my ears betweens sets:

Sittin’ in a shadow of me, gradually battlin’ me
A fall from grace like Adam and Eve
Search for the inner-Vatican in me
The temple, the body, I’m mental, I’m godly
Somehow I made my mess-ups my hobby
Is it the stress and the pressure? Probably
Out here with much anger inside me
Don’t know who my friends are, stranger inside me

Am I a failure? No. Have I failed? Yes. My failures dont define me though. How I act after failure does.

Goodbye, Voice. For now.

Oh boy

Sometimes you hit a wall. Sometimes you hit a speed bump. Sometimes you get hit on all sides by a perfect storm of doh.

So, here I am. Down 45 pounds and going strong. Then some things happened…

First and foremost, I will admit I have become careless. My ultimate goal has always been to be in a place where I dont need to track my food and I can go through a day eating smart.

I may need more practice before I do that.

I’ve been skipping my food log which, when you’re on a diet that calls for specific grams of fat and protein and carbs, is not smart.

Then other things joined the fray.

Do to my rapid weight loss, my thyroid medication (which I’ve been taking for over 10 years) was too high. My doctor lowered my dosage. That’s awesome! Maybe.

So, my discipline is off and now my thyroid medication is lower.

But wait, we’re not done yet! At the same time my body has decided to do a thing that can happen while on a low carb diet. It rhymes with Shmonstipation.

So what does a person do who has lessened discipline with food, a lower thyroid medication, and free time from not having to go to the bathroom?

Why, he breaks down and cheats with Easter candy!!

OH! I almost forgot. I also started my first workout program since starting my diet. I’ve been in the gym the last week lifting weights.

Yes, this careless, less medicated, constipated 40 year old chowed down on some easter chocolate (or dozen) and is getting swole at the gym.

I’ve gained a pound in the last week. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is not bad.

But I’m not PAST this moment in my journey yet and that’s where I’m nervous. I’m still having issues in the bathroom, I’m still on low medication, and I’m still trying to justify sneaking a piece of candy from my kid’s Easter baskets.

This is my reality. I’m in a rut. And I’m at risk of sabotaging everything I’ve worked hard on since January.

OR!….I refocus and get back up and move forward.

Yeah, I like that.

Softball

I played softball last night. With adults and running and hitting and throwing and holy crap I am sore. But I did it.

6 months ago. At 320 pounds, giant belly, old and sore, I would have skipped the game.

But not now.

It felt great to not feel like a giant blob while playing. It felt great to play again.

Everything about it, even the sore muscles, was great.

Cholesterol Test Results

Eating a high fat diet I had concern about my cholesterol levels so I had a checkup with my doctor.

I just got the results back and they are good.

My total cholesterol is 123.

LDL is 77, HDL is 43, and triglyceride levels are 46.

The only thing off was my thyroid levels, which I’ve taken medication for over ten years. They said because of my weight loss my medication level is too high. So they actually are lowering the dosage.

That’s awesome.

Emotional Perspective

Here is a photo taken this morning of me and my five year old daughter, Alice. Alice is a fireball of energy and laughter. She sings, dances, jumps, falls, gets back up, laughs. She and her brother are major motivations for me to get healthy.

I am sharing this photo because 1) I love my daughter and she’s awesome and 2) my daughter weighs 40 pounds. 40 pounds is significant because as of this morning, that’s how much weight I’ve dropped. (And I say DROPPED instead of LOST because I don’t intend to find that 40 pounds ever again)

40 pounds. I’ve dropped the equivalent of one energetic Alice.

40 pounds in 72 days. Still a long way to go but, as with any journey, I’m enjoying the ride.

CARBS

I went to the grocery store with my daughter and she asked for powdered donut holes. Being a loving dad I said yes, knowing I wouldn’t be able to eat them.

Being on the keto diet means low carbs. I get 25 grams of carbs a day and I get them mostly through vegetables.

I looked at the nutritional value of the donut holes. THREE of them equals my entire daily carb allowance.

THREE. I used to eat at LEAST ten at a time.

Weakness discovered

I stumbled. Not badly, but I stumbled. I found a weakness. After nearly two months of no cereal, no breads and pasta, no legumes, no sweets (other than my keto chocolate cake a few times) I started eating 80% cacoa chocolate bars, which are ok to eat on keto.

But I’ve discovered that I’m munching on them, snacking too much, craving them.

My weight loss hasn’t taken a hit, yet, but I have a feeling it will if I continue.

So, that’s that. No more chocolate snacking.

Ninja dad?!?

I’m going to be an American Ninja Warrior.

Yeah, you heard me. This 40 year old, arthritic, obese stay-at-home dad is going to be an American Ninja Warrior.

I’m crazy, I know. I’m also serious.

During today’s weigh-in, the scale informed me that I am 30 pounds lighter than I was on January 1st.

30 pounds.

That’s like, 120 quarter pounders from McDonald’s.

So, feeling invincible as I am right now, I want to set some crazy goal to strive for. I used to want to run a marathon just so I could say I could. While that still is a possibility, I think I want to be a ninja warrior.

What makes it harder is the fact I’ve never, in my entire life, done a pull up.

Never. Not once. Not even close to once.

So.

Yeah.

I’m crazy.

Crazy serious.

A stumble

It’s here. I knew it was coming. I knew this moment would happen. A stumble on my mission. Over the last week I have been less disciplined on my food tracking. A little more careless on how much and what I’m eating. Even if my eventual goal is to be able to eat without tracking, for now I need it to help me.

I don’t think I’ve gained any weight. Maybe a pound. But it’s the lack of discipline that is creeping in. The gateway to my giving up. I’ve been through it before. Get a little loose with the directions and eventually I’m face deep in ice cream and a third bowl of Coco Puffs.

BUT, the good news is I am aware. Today I, reluctantly, completed day 2 of an Ab challenge. Sit ups, crunches, leg lifts, planks. Oh how I wanted to skip and eat an uncounted breakfast. But I didn’t.

Take each meal, each day, each moment as it comes. Don’t think of tomorrow when you can’t focus enough on now.

So that’s what I’m doing. Focusing on each moment. Getting through each moment. Tracking each meal. I’m allowed to stumble. I’m just not allowed to use that as an excuse.

Onwards!!

The Secret to Losing Weight Revealed!

Nice clickbait title, isn’t it? The secrets to losing weight have been revealed to us! Click on this article and you will find all the answers you need!The dieting secret THEY don’t want you to know about!

All joking aside…..what if the answer to weight loss really IS in this post? And it’s not that diet companies don’t want you to know about it, it’s just that they don’t know how to talk to you about it.

The secret to weight loss isn’t a pill or a specific diet. The secret to weight loss is you.

What? Really?! I clicked on this post for that?!?! Hear me out and think about it. When you break it down, when you pick through the giant heap of reasons for success and failure, it always leads back to you. Your mind, your thoughts.

As a fat person I have stood in front of the refrigerator, door wide open, eating out of the carton of ice cream, and feeling awful about myself while doing it. I know I am fat, I want to change that I am fat, I know what I need to do, yet here I am, eating cookies and cream with the largest spoon i could find. Maybe when I am done I will be motivated for a change. Maybe for the next few days I will cut back on bad habits, eat some vegetables, go for a walk. Yet by day three or four, I’m finding ways to justify that extra chip or two. That larger portion of cake. That midday candy bar.

Your mind is your greatest asset and your greatest obstacle. In order for you to truly be successful with a new, healthy lifestyle, you have to convince yourself that you want to do it. And I’m not talking about momentary motivation. Anyone can get motivated for a moment. It’s those who can get past the motivation and into the habit who are successful. Play We Are the Champions by Queen and I will get pumped up to do something good. When the song ends, however, the moment passes. Motivation is a good song on the radio that will end in a few minutes.

So you need to have a discussion, a long discussion, with your mind. Sit down, get comfy and speak out. Say, “hello mind, it’s me. Let’s talk.” Ask your mind what changes you want to make. Get personal. Tell your mind what scares you, what hurts you. Give it reasons why you think you’ve failed in the past. Your mind is a middle school journal. Spill your guts to it. Break it all down and get to the source. For me, it took realizing that I was embarrassed and angry at how I looked. And that anger was being projected out onto the people around me, which happened to be my kids and my wife. I realized how depressed I was over my weight. And I cried. I cried a lot. And then the next day, I repeated the process. I looked inward to see what was bothering me, what was hurting me, and why. And I cried again. A good, deep healthy cry.

I continued this process for a long time. Being depressed isn’t going to get fixed on the first try. So I kept talking to my mind. Before I could eat healthy foods, I need to eat healthy thoughts. (Really? that is so cheesy) BUT IT IS TRUE. If you aren’t at least accepting of who you are or where you are at, you raise your chances of failure. If you can’t acknowledge that yes, you may be hurting, you raise your chances of failure.

Admit your biggest fears and disappointments to yourself. Admit the things you love as well. Be honest with yourself. Get your mind in order.

YOU are the biggest asset to your weight loss journey. Understand you may have setbacks, slow periods, frustration. Understand that a specific diet plan may not work for you. But in the past, before you had a candid convo with your mind, a failed diet plan might have meant giving up entirely. The new you, however, is able to understand that your healthy journey is a windy, exciting road with many paths. Sometimes you may have to double back and go a new way. Sometimes you may get lost. That comes with the territory. You are a stronger person now. Your mind can take those setbacks now.

As some wise women once said…Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow.

25 Flippin’ Pounds Gone!

HOLY MOLY WHERE DID IT GO?!?!

25 pounds. 25 pounds that I had with me at the end of 2017 are now gone. Forever. I lost them…And I’m never going to look for them. They are lost like a single sock in a drier. Lost like Jack and Kate and no, we DON’T have to go back.

It feels good. It feels really really good.

Do you know how much 25 pounds is? It’s like 25 pounds of butter. Or 25 pounds of pennies. Or 25 pounds of ANYTHING!! Ok, that didn’t really make a good image. Who cares.

25 pounds!!

37 Days and Counting

Thirty seven days. That’s how long I have been on this keto friendly journey. In that time I still have not eaten cereal, chips, ice cream, crackers, cookies, pasta, rice, beans. I have not eaten a handful of whatever lunch or snack I prepare for my kids. My family had Smores, I did not. My family had queso at a restaurant. I did not.

So how do I feel? AMAZING. I might not have been eating what I used to eat but I am eating great food. And not snacking has helped me sooo much. I’m down 22 pounds, I have energy all day, I’m feeling great.

(Side note, I have been dealing with a nasty cough and some congestion, which I will be seeing a doctor about today)

But other than that, I am feeling awesome.

Dropping weight has slowed a LOT since I started but I expected that. I never thought I’d lose a pound a day like I was in the beginning. Now I’m happy for a pound a week.

So, here we are, onwards and upwards. To infinity and beyond. Live long and prosper. May the force be with you. Have a smurferrific day.