Saturday, November 26, 2011

196.6 (Looking over my shoulder...)

Well hello there!  Haven't seen me in a while, huh?  Yeah, I know.  I simply haven't had time to write much lately, so all my blogs have fallen a bit fallow.  But it's time to celebrate a bit, so let's get after it!

It's funny.  I started writing this post quite a while ago, with the scale pic showing (below-right) but every time I came back to edit and continue, I'd dropped more weight (down to the pic, left)!  So anyway, here's a bit of a catch-up for the past few months...

August-October, 2011:

I'd been fighting the same ten pounds for the past three months or so (see previous blog post).  For most of August, it would be 220-215, then September was 215-211.  Every time I'd get close to 210, something would happen to undo it and send me back up the scale.  Typically this would be weekend over-indulgences or night eating, which continues to be a struggle for me.  I hit 210 once, back in late August, but didn't post it because it lasted all of a day, then I was back up to 215 or so shortly thereafter.  Also, I believe it was mostly due to dehydration, which in my book doesn't really count.

But from the end of September, I've seen some real traction, and back in the beginning of October (I think) I got under--and stayed under--210 for the first time.  Lots of physical work at the zendo, combined with being really good about my diet, combined with a terrible money situation.  I couldn't really afford to indulge.

But towards the end of October, something in my life shifted, and it was for the better in all respects.  As I said, my primary exercise has been working at the zendo doing the remodel.  I love doing it, but it's volunteer work, and doesn't really help out financially.  I took a stab at a job posted on Craigslist, and lo and behold, I got it!  But in switching to a desk-and-cube job 4-5 hours a day, however, I was rather concerned that I was going to lose the benefit of the hard(ish) zendo labor-as-exercise.  Where was I going to get my cardio?  Well, I stopped being concerned once I discovered that the closest bus stop to my office was 3/5 of a mile and 30 stairs away.  Since I started on Halloween night, I've dropped nearly eight more pounds! I wind up having to (typically) walk roughly two miles a day to get to and from work, plus having to climb 30 or so stairs twice to get to and from the Hawthorne bridge bus stop I have to use.  It'll be interesting to see how the winter weather affects this, as well as the time off when this office closes down in January for a few weeks.  Technically, it's a temp job, but there are all signs that I'll be brought back when the office re-opens.

So that's how I got down to 198.4, where I am as of this morning.  Here are a few reflections on what the weight-loss has been manifesting in my life.


Man, what to say here?  The picture really says it all.  At one point in time (about three years ago) these fit, and were probably snug at times.  As I started to drop weight, I kept them around, mostly for work pants.  But a few days ago, with piles of laundry to do and no clean(ish) work trou available, I resorted to these with suspenders, and was quite literally shocked to the point of near horror.  And absurdity.  And laughter.  Then horror again.  I used to fill these!

I now fit comfortably in 36" pants!  For the first time since I was about 13!  A few weeks ago my fiancée and I were at Good Will (the place I used to go to to get reasonably priced fat-guy stuff) and I decided on a whim to try out a pair of 38" jeans.  Regular jeans.  "Normal people" jeans.  I didn't suspect that they'd really fit.  I thought at best I'd be able to suck my gut in and get myself squeezed into them, then feel like I'd been rammed into some kind of diabolical Victorian girdle and truss.  I'll admit that I felt pretty stupid standing there in the dressing room, tears welling up in my eyes after the zipper glided up and the button fastened on the inhale.  I was even more shocked when they stayed in place without a belt.  Seriously, I haven't wore pants without a belt... like, ever.  I've always had to have an elastic-braided belt in my life.  But these just seemed to stay in place all on their own, like magic.  Thinking I was being fooled, or that Allen Fundt was peering at me from behind the mirror, I tried on another pair by a different manufacturer, suspecting that I may have tried on the one "fat" size of 38" pants that were really like 40" or so.  But lo and behold, the others fit, too.  And stayed in place, too!  WITHOUT A BELT!!

It was real, and yeah, I started to cry a bit.  This had been such a long time in coming.  I guess it took me completely by surprise.  Clothing is going to stay a bit of a challenge at least for the near future.  I have a closet packed full of shirts that I simply can't wear anymore.  They'll go to Good Will.  Half of them came from there anyway.  Maybe they'll help some larger brother out?  My shoes don't fit like they used to, either.  Neither do some HATS?  That's just downright odd...

People, Places & Things:

So, people are really noticing this now.  My face looks completely different.  No more broad, round redish-from-exertion face.  No more three chins (I seem to have only one now).  And a firm jaw.  And a rather distinct clavicle.  And ribs.  And sorta hips.  And a waist!  This is all really freaky and new.

It seems that both genders notice the change.  My male friends notice and say "You look awesome!  How are you doing it?"  The women... well, I don't think I've ever been hit on this much in my life.  Talk about weird x2.  Can't say that I mind it, though, but I just want my fiancée to keep finding me attractive.  And healthy.  And alive.  We have a 16-year age difference, and it would be pretty damn unfair of me to check out on her before I should simply because I couldn't keep from stuffing my pie-hole.


I'm really pleased with my food lately.  This is sort-of interesting because one one hand, money's been so bad these past few months since I wound up in hospital.  But on the other hand, it's made me eat more cheaply, but more creatively.  I haven't been suffering.  I've really been enjoying my food.  I have to admit something mildly shameful: I am a ramen noodle fan.  Always have been.  With cash the way it's been, I've had to go back to my old friend.  I typically never have it as-is, though.  I toss in some frozen Asian veggies, mushrooms, typically some kimchee, a sliced hard-boiled egg, sliced red onion, and top it off with chopped cilantro, basil and Sriracha.  Always Sriracha!  Viva Sriracha!!!

Food is a much more simple affair to me now.  I still enjoy cooking, but it's not this big to-do anymore.  That is helpful.  Making a small meal quickly means I'm not focusing on food so much, and not eating things as I'm preparing the meal.

More later.  It's taken me forever to get this post up as it is...

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