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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Aches, pains, and gains...

September was my last month of measurable weight loss. Of course, I rode my bike 200 miles that month!!! I was eating 100% on-plan, so it's not shocking that everything "worked".

...but then October happened. Nothing "bad", per se, but I had the fresh mental outlook of having rode 200 miles, and inadvertently did ZERO miles in October! I didn't realize it at the time, but I was also beginning to experience "carb creep". In fact, I think that may go all the way back to March, when the Disney trip happened. That was when I started to add "just a bit" of white potato here & there. Small order of hash-browns at breakfast, or a few stolen fries at lunch. In the beginning, it was no big deal, but by October it'd become a daily expectation, rather than a weekly exception.

I love potatoes. White potatoes, sweet potatoes, even red-skin & fingerling potatoes. Damn those starchy carbs! ...and let's not even talk about the refined vegetable oils they are cooked in...

Anyway, I plateaued in October, and then the Holidays happened. I really didn't think I was "that" bad during the holidays, but the bottom line doesn't lie.

I bounced from 316 up to 330. 14 damn pounds of back tracking! This puts me back where I was in June!!! Dammit!!!

Even at my old loss-rate of 2lbs per week, it'd take me through the first week of March to get back to where I was in October.

October to March is half a year lost, and THAT is a real bite in the ass.

After a day or two of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to not lie down and die just yet...

So, I came up with a plan. I found some new apps, and I've learned some stuff I'd like to try. I want to continue losing weight & looking better, feeling great, exercising more, sleeping fantastic, and keep buying smaller, nicer clothes.

So - here is my new plan. I'm largely going back to basics, with a low-carb, nearly ketogenic outlook.

I'm staying with the whole "super clean paleo" way of eating, with a few tweaks. First, I'm going to stay totally clean with my good meat choices. I'll still eat a ton of veggies, just keeping them to the non-starchy types. LOTS of "good" fats. No grains. No dairy. No artificial sweeteners. No added sugars. No added preservatives. 10,000 steps per day. 3 hours of other exercise each week. 8 hours of quality sleep each night. Track EVERYTHING. 2,000 calories per day, with offsets for exercise. 10, 20, 70 split on Carbs, Protien, and Fat. Daily ketone measurement, with tweaks as needed.

...and, of course, I'll report progress here!

(For anyone interested in low carb ketosis, Google Jimmy Moore - he is quite inspirational)

Monday, January 04, 2016

Stupid? Maybe...

Between November 2nd & January 4th, exactly nine weeks, I gained 16 damn pounds.

I'm not sure how it happened, other than a couple of epic-off-plan days. Thanksgiving. My Birthday, twice. But the real reason is more insidious, and much tougher to eradicate - but I cannot allow this shit to continue!

(More on this subject in a subsequent posting)

So, to kick off my recommitment to the New Year, I decided that a frigid January bike ride in the snow would be a nearly-epic expedition!

I started out just before dawn, with temps in the low 20's, with a light breeze bringing the windchill to the low teens.

I wore a good selection of winter gear - the trick being to dress warmly enough so as not to freeze to death, but not so warm that you sweat & then freeze to death.

My only issue was cold feet! I wore good wool socks inside my insulated Merrill Polarand Moc's, but I think my issue was caused by a thin pair of socks I wore over the wool one - the thin socks were talk, so I could tuck my sweat pants in - and I think that the sweat pant & socks were bunched up, making circulation tough. Maybe? I'm not sure, but damn, my feet started getting cold around mile 7, and by mile 10 felt very uncomfortable.

The fat tires on my bike really glided amazingly well on this hard-pack snow! I didn't know what to expect, but I was thrilled. Ice? No Bueno. I bounce better in the summer.

Question of the day: Puddle, or Pond? (Cracking ice under your feet all sounds the same)

At several points, I realized if I slid off the path, nobody would find me until Spring! I took a detour down an Equestrian path that was astoundingly scenic, but when I came down a hill to a large frozen area, I didn't know how deep things could be, and I didn't want my suburban bike ride to take a Jack London type detour! I worked my way past the ice, but not without falling. My helmet may have paid for itself that day.

Also treacherous were the street crossings, due to the large frozen berms of ice & snow. These were brutal, and at the intersection of Shoe Factory & Higgins, I went down. It was a slow, stupid fall, but it highlighted to me how quickly a fun ride could turn south.

All in all, it was a great ride. I've experimented with two bikes, two sets of lights, three sets of gear, and four different routes. All of that paid off! I was shocked at how quickly my conditioning had atrophied, but I prevailed! Now, a day later, I'm terribly sore, and a bit bruised, but happy that I did it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

...and then I turned 49

What a birthday! How lucky am I??? Wowzers - I'd like to thank the fantastic & enthusiastic crowd of Friends who took the time today to wish me Happy Birthday!

With most of my blood relatives on the high seas & beyond the reach of technology, it was nice to have so many of you to 'fill the gap'!

I enjoyed my annual day of "Eating Many Bad Things", to the point where tomorrow's recommitment to healthy habits feels ... oddly comforting.

I had a great birthday dinner with my very favorite people, I got an unbelievably thoughtful & unexpected present, and I find myself filled with the warm glow of gratitude.

I'm ending the night with my annual piece of chocolate/chocolate cake, and a little Bourbon in one of my Grandfather's USNA glasses. To everyone near, far, and no longer with us - THANK YOU, today was a great birthday. Now it's just 364 days until I'm 50!!!!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Non-scale victories

Sometimes, it's good to focus on victories other than a simple number on the bathroom scale.

(Especially during the Holidays, when maybe it's tough to keep the needle moving in the right direction!)

So, looking at that picture, the top left is my old signet ring, which was downsized not too long ago, and is now big enough to require a spacer.

The watch with the brown strap shows three different wear marks, and is now worn in the smallest size.

The two rings with colored stones are my old High School & Marine Corps rings - which now both fit in their original sizes!

Lastly, the big stainless steel watch has now been downsized another link, for a total of two that have been removed in the last year.

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm still epic-fat, with at least 100lbs more weight than I should have - but DAMN if it's not great motivation to see these small indicators that show how far I've come!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Today I was bringing Christmas stuff down from the attic, and I decided to open two ancient old plastic bins of clothes that I put up there 12 years ago when I moved here. I don't think these have been opened in more than 20 years, since my time in Oregon. I *think* this stuff was Christmas presents in '90 or '91, when I'd first started gaining weight after my time in the service.

This stuff is from Britches, Gap, and Brooks Brothers, mostly XXL, but some XL stuff.

...and it all smells like 1989...

Monday, December 14, 2015

No you don't...

Recently, while I was pumping gas, a guy walking by commented on my sunglasses, saying, "Nice shades Dude, I have a pair just like 'em!"

No, you don't.

I don't mean to be rude or condescending, but ... 

No.  You.  Don't.

Today I was reading a bit on the interwebs, and an article caught my eye, but not for the content.  There was a picture of Father John Misty wearing shades ALMOST like mine.

You see, even celebrities can't duplicate MY style!

How is this possible, you ask?

Well, it all started a few years ago (2008-ish?), when I was feeling the sting of seeing 40 in the rearview mirror.  One of several things I began to work on was my personal style.

I could write a whole article on what I tried, what failed, and what I'm still struggling with today; however, I've had a few nice wins, and my sunglasses are one of those.

Since the '80's, I've always worn classic aviators or variations on Wayfarers.  I had a brief & unfortunate dalliance with technical / performance sunglasses, but when I was ready to redefine my style, I knew I had to stay true to my roots.

Enter Moscot.  They are an old brand, which turned 100 this year.  One of the designs in the "Originals" collection that particularly appealed to me was the "Lemtosh".  Similar in profile to Wayfarers, they have the classic keyhole nose opening, with a rounder look to the eyes.

But I didn't want something "off the shelf", I wanted a uniquely classic look.  After trying frames in both the clear & blonde, I had a brainwave.  Both were "good", but not "great", until I swapped the arms for a nice two-tone look I'd had in a previous pair of cheapie "cheater" glasses.

Now, I just had to decide how to utilize two nearly identical frames!  Figuring that one pair should become sunglasses, the other pair easily became readers.  I chose to put the tinted lenses in the clear frames, so that the clear reading lenses would be in the darker frames - continuing the contrasting look for both pairs.

For the sunglasses, I looked at more than a dozen shades of green lenses, eventually going with a lighter, classic Ray Ban - perfect for overcast, dreary days, yet still good enough for full summer sun.

The result is an updated classic, unlikely to be copied, or go out of style.

Let's hope I don't lose them... 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Stay The Course

A month ago I weighed 316, and I had grand visions of losing 17 pounds by the end of the year, and I'd celebrate my birthday with fanfare & trumpets, and I'd begin 2016 under 300 pounds for the first time since 1995.

Well, shit! Today I weighed in at 324.


Yes, last week was Thanksgiving. Yes, I ate off-plan.

One meal.

One plate. wasn't Thanksgiving. Perhaps it was the 5lb bag of pre-shelled walnuts I got at CostCo? Perhaps it was the carb-creep of adding french fries & 'easy' side items, when veggies aren't available? Not enough salad? Skipping a workout here & there?

Maybe all of the above?

I need to re-dedicate, re-focus, and re-commit.

But dammit, I'm tired...