Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Traffic problem

Each week, I'm faced with a traffic problem and the solution has me sitting her in the parking lot of a convenience store at Memorial and Post Oak. Here's the dilemma. My appointment with Cathereine each week is at 7 am. Now, with no traffic it's about a 25 minute drive from my house. But with traffic, it can take over an hour, even up to an hour and a half. Traffic on 290 starts to build up around 5:50-6 so if I wait until 6 to leave, I won't make it by 7. So, I left before traffic started building up, around 5:20 and sure enough, it only took me 30 minutes to get into town.

So, now I have an hour to burn. Maybe I should go to McDonalds. LOL!!! Just kidding. I took a drive around Memorial Park. I haven't been there in the morning before dark since the storm. Man, the Southwest corner of the park is DARK. Kind of scary. But the lights are on around the rest of the park and the runners were out. After that, I'm like...What now? So, I'm sitting here in the parking lot of the convenience store blogging. Luckily, I'm on call so I have the Sprint card. Here's my view:

Well, now my battery is running down so I guess I'll just listen to some talk.

Edited: I just got done with weigh-in and have lost another 4 pounds. Down to 341. I commented that my daily calories were LOOOOOOW!!! but I feel fine. Just great. Catherine said it's probably because I'm eating GOOD food that I feel satiated. For now, she wants me, of course, to just keep doing what I'm doing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

No need to fret!!!

Not to worry, Tiggs, I may not have blogged in a few days but I haven't reverted in the least bit back to the unhealthy lifestyle. If fact, I've been doing GREAT!!! Sticking to it. Staying motivated. Eating right. Logging my food. Sticking with my running program. Being patient.

Speaking of patience, I think I'm losing it. I know this is normal and is something everyone trying to turn themselves around deals with. I'm ok with the gradual weight loss. That's not a problem and in fact, I'm a little ahead of where I expected to be. My big thing right now is the weather is so beautiful and I've been feeling really frisky. I'd love, TODAY, to just go to Terry Hershey Park and run 10 miles. Or just to run for a good hour. Or just run one loop around Memorial Park. I really, really miss being able to do that and I'm tempted to go to my running program and start deleting (rows) weeks to accelerate this thing. But I know patience will pay off in the long run. No pun intended!!! So, yesterday, I did my 0.75 mile long run. Yes, you read it right. 0.75 miles.

I finished the week with 4.5 total miles, up a half mile from last week. I see <Catherine on Tuesday which is weigh-in day. I haven't a clue where I stand. I took that sorry scale back to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I'm going to get a real scale. Maybe on the internet or some medical supply store. Needless to say, the suspense is killing me not having a scale to weight on every morning. I have to trust that I'm going to post some good numbers, hopefully 1-3 pounds. If I don't, there's seriously something wrong. I've averaged ~1550 calories per day this week. Carb/protein/fat percentage was 48/30/22, just perfectly on target. :) So, I'm expecting good results Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Today was my weigh-in day. I've switched it up from weighing in on Saturday morning to weighing in when with Catherine either on Tuesday or Wednesday when I have my appointment. All my appointments are early in the morning, before work so it's just perfect. Plus, she has an awesome scale. My freakin' scale at home is so incosistent. I just bought it, too. Every time I get on it, it's something different. Like this morning, I stepped on it and it said 348. I got off, let it reset itself, got back on and it said 343. I got off again and back on and it said 347. Then 346, then 346, then 346. I figured I was honed in on 346 so I got in the shower. I got out and it said 347. Well, which is it? It's very frustrating. I really need to get a real scale. A balance if you will. Maybe something like this.

They're dang expensive, though. But I guess it could be the last scale I ever buy, right. Wish I knew where to get a good deal on one. Maybe online or something.

Anyway, back to the weigh-in. I'm down to 345.0 lbs. That's about 6 lbs lost in a week and a half. That's a good start.

I'll tell you what, the last week was a complete success. And Catherine was able to look on CalorieKing.com and see the whole picture. It is really and AWESOME website. And there are a bunch of great charts and reports you can run to get any number of stats on just about anything. Carbs/fat/protein, sodium, fiber, sodium, everything. And she sees everything I eat each day. We get to talk about the good days and the bad (there weren't any bad this last week). Anyway, the 30 minutes I get with Catherine is jam-packed with information and counsel on just about everything nutrition.

One of the questions Catherine asked me was "What do you think made the difference this week since you had such a good week?" I said, "YOU!!! I mean knowing you're there and seeing what I eat, knowing I have an advocate and a plan." Plus, just the fact that I'm dropping a couple hundred dollars a month for a dietitian is motivation to stay on the plan.

Another thing I've done is I've let just about everyone know that I'm on a diet. That I'm seeing a dietitian and I'm turning over a new leaf. Everyone at work knows. I've even got a partner now at work who was very happy that I decided to do Subway everyday for lunch and he's joining me, no matter what everyone else is doing. Plus, I've gotten some great encouragement from friends through the blog and that's been fun. So, blogging again has been fun and has helped.

I just need to continue to put the pieces back together.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Run for your life!!!

I've gotta post my Sunday afternoon lunch experience yesterday.

The whole fam was over after church for homemade everything. Mac and cheese (mmmmm!), pork chops (not trimmed), green bean casserole (fat, fat, fat), ceasar salad (from a bag, like 20 g fat/ serving), and peach cobbler with ice cream. Did I mention the rolls with REAL butter?

Anyway, I was so uptight and in such a strange mood. Part of me was mad at the fam putting me in a situation like that. Part of me felt bad because that's the way my family eats. And part of me was just SCARED because I know I can't resist. Plus, to make matters worst, I made the mistake of skipping breakfast so I was real hungry.

Well, when I got home, I just went to the fridge, go out some grilled salmon and a sweet potato, made me a spiniach salad and just ate...like in front of everybody...while everyone else was waiting for lunch to be ready, I just sat down and ate. It was rude but ya know...

Then, when I was done, I was seriously craving MORE. And not more of my stuff, more of THEIR stuff. So, even though we had company and even though it was family, I just go my keys, told everyone it was good to see them, and I left. I went and got a coffee at starbucks (black) and just drove around. I visited an exercise equipment store I've been wanting to check out on 290 and 1960. I've got my eye on a beautiful treadmill there. Then I just drove around Cypress. By the time I got back, not only was lunch done but everyone was gone. I felt bad about that but good about not CRASHING. DW was good. When I came in, she DUMPED the peach cobbler down the drain. A waste? Yes. But it was a good thing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Long run and 1.4 lbs lost

What a beautiful morning for some exercise and HOLY COW, there were a ton of people at Memorial Park, as many as I've EVER seen there. I debated whether or not to drive into town for such a short run but hey, I've got nothing better to do. And adding on a trip to Whole Foods made it worthwhile.

Today is my long run day. Week 1 of my schedule has me doing 0.5 miles for my long run. Man, I'm anything but proud for admitting that. But I AM CONVINCED by coach Bill that this gradual base building period is what someone in my situation needs. Here are the first 13 weeks of the program.

So, if you look at the big picture (which I'm not supposed to do), I'm up to 13 mpw in just 13 short weeks. The program's heavy on avoiding injury, strictly base building, and getting my bones, tendons, cartilage used to taking a pounding again. After this 13 weeks, I'll still have 4 weeks left to do a little sharpening and possibly do the EP 5K on January 18. That's my plan to get back into this running thing. My 5K should suck enough on the 18th to motivate me into the spring to keep kicking a** and taking names on the weight loss.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Easy day

Today was an easy day on the schedule with 1 mile walk at no target pace. I had doubts as to whether or not easy workouts like "walk 1 mile at no target pace" and "run .25 miles at 18:30" would make any difference at all as far as weight loss goes. But Catherine said that was not the case and that these workouts DO make a difference. And, of course, as I build up the mileage over the weeks as the pounds melt away, I'm going to see a noticeable difference in my running as well as how I feel.

Nutrition was good today. I made one big mistake. I forgot to eat my mid-afternoon snack. I drove out of the garage with major hunger pangs. I just needed to make it home and of course I did. Bummed out at what was in the fridge though. I scrounged and found a chicken breast and put together a salad. I did my walk and am feeling satisfied. I think I'm a little low on the daily intake. Yes, I just checked and my net calories in today was 1398. Gotta watch that. I don't want to eat too few calories.

The Cat-inator

Last night around 6:45, I e-mailed Catherine Kruppa. The e-mail went something like this:

subject: Vic's in trouble
I NEED HELP!!! I mean counseling, meal plans, strategies, hypnosis, whatever!!! How much and how soon?

Wouldn't you know, not 15 minutes later, Catherine e-mailed me and TOLD me to be in her office this morning at 7:30. I didn't blink.

When I sat down, Catherine cut right to the chase. Just just asked me what was going on. When I told her I had reverted back to all my old habits she simply asked, "Why?" For some reason, that was a really tough question. I talked about the project and about how to the same extent the healthy lifestyle had become the norm back in 2006-2007, now the opposite has become the norm. I told her how I had basically stopped running after the Half last October and had let my support system go and stopped being involved in the running community. We talked a little about my current habits but she and I both know what those are.

Then, we got down to it. The plan. Here's how we're going to turn this around.

1) Catherine said, "Vic, I have another client just like you. If she's not exercising, she's not eating right. Vic, we've gotta get you running again, period." Catherine knows that my running is so intertwined with my weight loss and healthy eating that the answer to my will power problems and my motivation is to get back to running. I told her about Bill's program and she agreed completely that that was PERFECT for me in my situation.

2) Now the meal plan. Breakfast if fine. Then, we talked about what I've been eating for lunch. I told her about all the great fast food restaurants we go to and about the CRAP I eat in when we eat in the cafeteria. Catherine said, "Vic, you've gotta become Jared again." So, it's back to 12" turkey subs at Subway for lunch and a bag of baked chips.

3)#1 thing - NO FAST FOOD on the way home from work. Or any time for that matter. I must have an afternoon snack and/or an apple on the way home.

4) I'm logging all my food on calorieking.com. Catherine has my username and password and she will log in and monitor my nutrition.

5) I will meet with her once a week and once a week, she will e-mail me. I'm "contracted" to provide feedback to her on her comments on the e-mail. So, basically, we have to communicate and I must be accountable.

6) The kitchen's closed after supper!!! Only water.

What else? I think that's it. Pretty simple. Oh, one more thing...She does NOT want me thinking about the BIG PICTURE!!! In other words, no thinking about how I'm going to lose 150 lbs. or how I'm going to run a 5 hour marathon or how I'm going to get my family to eat right, etc. I'm just supposed to think about today and intermediate, short-term goals.

Well, that's it. It's like...Duh!!! But this will be good to hold me accountable. And spending the money makes me want to not waste my investment. Again, I'm not making any claims of being "back". I'm just going to let the results speak for themselves.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hope everyone is ok

It's good to continue to hear reports that people are recovering from the storm. I'm so sorry for those who have lost so much and for those without power and water. I won't elaborate because so many are suffering but I'll just report that we had no damage to our house and were only without electricity for a couple of days. Thank God we were spared.

Also, let me just say THANK YOU to the tireless (not literally speaking) first responders, utility workers, garbage collectors, grocers, healthcare providers, and government officials for your relentless effort to get us back to functional and back to normal. I know I don't reach many here on the blog and I doubt this will make a difference but I'll just mention this. I-45 into Galveston is currently in GRIDLOCK!!! All residents and visitors trying to get into Galveston are being turned away at this time. It's so bad that repair vehicles, food, water, medical supplies, and other emergency vehicles can't even get through to get into Galveston. Please, please, please do not try to go to Galveston.

Moving on...

Here's the report on where I am health wise. I was on a roll back in July but fell off again, for whatever reason(s). WAY off!!! I've gained 15 pounds since the middle of July and have become so sedentary, I'm starting to have difficulty with just everyday tasks. I'm only 20 pounds away from my all-time, life-time highest weight of 370 pounds. If I had one, single ounce of dignity or pride in myself, I'd never post this on the blog but hey, I guess that's just where I'm at right now. I don't care anymore. In some sort of perverted, upside-down, backwards way, I've let this blog become a crutch. I've let it become all about me!!! Now, that sounds kind of strange I know. Especially since this blog is about me. :) LOL!!! What I mean is somewhere along the way, instead of using this blog to chronicle my activities and my successes in hopes that it might reach out and inspire others, it's turned into this thing where I just want people to tell me it's ok. It's ok that I'm struggling. It's ok that I've "started over" umpteen million times. It's ok to just do what I can. Poor, poor, pitiful me.

So, I'm faced with a couple of options. 1) Abandon the blog because it's too embarrassing what it has become, or 2) Give it another chance. Make it something better. I think like so many other things in my life, just saying "I choose 2)" doesn't make it so. I've just got to do it. The same way saying "I'm back!!!" doesn't make it so. I've got to prove it. I think announcements like "I'm back!!!" and "I'm going to live healthy and eat right" or "I'm going to make this blog something better" are better made retrospectively than presumptively. So, rather than making some big announcement or claim, I'm just going to state how the last few days have gone.

I started a new running plan this week. It's a customized plan from RRCA-certified coach Humble Runner Bill. It's a perfect, insightful plan for me. It's completely customized for my situation...fat, sedentary, new runner. I think it's going to work nicely with my weight loss goals. The core goal of the program is what every beginner runner should be concentrating on, base building. And not just aerobic base building but more importantly, especially for someone who is heavy, musculo-skeletal base building. I've got to build up my bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to stay injury-free.

So, I started this week with hard/easy/hard on Mon/Tues/Wed. Here's the hard - .25 miles at 18:30 pace. Yes, that's hard to swallow!!! But it's the right thing to do. Easy days are 1 mile walk at no target pace. This is going to be a long, gradual build up to get my running even close to where I want it to be and it's going to take patience. But Bill's got me believing this is the best way for a new runner to start. And yes, I may be an experienced runner but I'm an experienced, new runner. LOL!!! That makes NO sense.

Regarding nutrition, I'm still struggling. I don't have a plan right now besides just trying to make better choices. This is a good thing but my choices need to be made WAAAAAY before it's time to eat. Sounds a lot like having a plan!!! The weird thing is that I've done this before and I have some knowledge about healthy nutrition but when push comes to shove, I just don't make the right choices. Maybe for a while, I need someone else to make the choices for me. I'm talking a professional dietician. I'm talking The Cat-inator. Can I afford it? Well, can I really afford NOT to get her help. I think no. I'll have to see how this works out.