Over and over again...

A dieter's guide to insanity...

My Profile

  • Name: Iconoclast
  • City: Brantford
  • Region: Ontario
  • Country: Canada

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September '14
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Before After

A well worn path...

It has been a while since I last posted here, especially after reading back on all of the 'best intentions' that it seems I have filled my life with over the last couple of years. Certainly as it pertains to my weightloss '(insert time-appropriate adjective du jour - be it journey or adventure or whatever)' anyhow.

What have I been doing? regressing - that's what I've been doing - I've been doing all the same things I promised in this blog that I would never do again. I am a walking definition of the person that does the same thing over and over and expects a different result... although I like to think I'm not insane...

A couple years have passed - I`ve certainly gotten older, and as such expect that dieting for me will be as difficult as before. I still work a relatively stressful job with long hours, and I still intend on continuing with my education - all of which make it that much more difficult for me to diet - the built in excuses I tend to use as my crutch not withstanding.
 
"I have a client meeting and we are going out for lunch"
 
"I'm too tired when I get home to eat properly"
 
"I'm so busy I just grabbed something quick and easy"
... all bullshit - at least it is for someone that really wants to lose weight.

So - I am going back to everything that worked for me before to lose the weight, hence my triumphant (or not so triumphant) return here. Although not a writer, I do like to put pen to paper so to speak - in a very weird way its almost cathartic for me and certainly helps to enfore the accountability aspect - which to me is THE most important thing.
 
I. NEED. TO. BE. ACCOUNTABLE. TO. ME.
 
... everything else will fall in line after that - it did before and it will again.

Envision the Vision!

Many times over the course of my diet I have found myself looking way too far ahead and therefore, not realistically setting my own personal goals. Ultimately, we all know what our goal is but too often we reach beyond where we can see – thus making it next to impossible to achieve.

Here I go with another lame analogy –

… if you are on a boat in the middle of the ocean and put your hand into the water – what are the chances that you are going to be successful at pulling out a fish? …

You know the fish are there but the goal is too far reaching – you need to lessen the odds of failure by making the goal more attainable first – how about we start by getting wet…

Simplify – now if I could only be wise to my own words…

I think that is why there are so many failed attempts at dieting. We are overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand that we don’t see the stumbling blocks right in front of us – and I say us but I truly mean me.

There was nothing worse than standing on the scale the first time I went to JFC and having “the Carm” write down that I had 300 pounds to lose. We never did establish my “goal weight” because it was too far off and realistically from her perspective – she probably wasn’t overly optimistic I would get there either.

My quagmire – is looking too far ahead – getting ahead of myself and trying to win the war before I master the battle. I am so narrow minded on my focus that a single push can send me spinning for days – an endless cycle that I have to learn to break before I can suggest anything of a “lifestyle change”.

I think a lot of people share this problem – if they didn’t the quick fix diets wouldn’t be so popular and the diet industry wouldn’t still one of the most financially successful industries in the world.

That statement alone is truly sad when you think about it…

However, is there anything wrong with a little creative visualization? I suppose it would depend on ones’ vision – suggesting I would look good in some slinky hose and garters if I was to shed say 300 or so – might be a stretch of what would be considered “creative visualization” to say the least – buy you get the idea.

Thanks to my EP friends for paying my “abandoned” site a visit and posting a note – and also to my newly anointed “metric-challenged” visitor – you are quite welcome and thanks for reading.

One Small Step for This Man...

When I originally worked at the insurance company (a while ago now) I got myself into a great routine. I would work my 8 hours – then hit the gym for an hourish almost every night – then I would rest on the weekends. It worked really well for me and (as some of you know) I lost a bunch of weight (150 lbs)…

Then February 2007 happened –

Moving from a corporate 9-5 environment back into agency really took the wind out of my sails and for a person that is very much a creature of habit – that’s not a good thing. So my diet suffered.

Ad agency life (for anyone not in that line of work) tends to be very hectic and the hours long – it’s creative, fun and exhilarating – but tiring and stressful at the same time.

As for my diet routine – what diet routine?

I ate what I could (which was generally pre-packaged food of sorts) when I could and working out became a punch-line rather than something that I was doing daily – or even weekly for that matter…

Then March 2008 happened –

I could bore you with the details of my successive lay-offs and being the victim of restructures but the gist of which has been written eloquently on LW’s blog so I won’t say much more than that – suffice to say it was a shitty year to say the least and all due credit to LW – she handled it better (from a diet perspective) than I did.

I know I keep humming the same old tune but I have had excuses in the past. Excuses might be the wrong word – crutches might be better so I will go with that one. There were always reasons for why I wasn’t working out and there were always reasons why I wasn’t eating what I knew I should be…those crutches were there to placate my broken psyche…

Then May 2008 happened –

I started working for a publishing company running the web department. Keeping in mind that I am only on week two but so far – it somewhat resembles the insurance company in that the hours are less sporadic and the work – although not as hectic and exciting as agency life, looks as though it is going to be challenging and fun (for me anyhow). I can see that I will once again be able to rebuild my routines to include doing things the right way – at least that is my goal.

Time will tell if I can once again shed the crutches that hinder me and my travels… those crutches have gotten heavier and heavier over time however and leaving them behind will require baby steps I’m sure…

Step one has just been fulfilled – thanks for reading…

Impetus...

im•pe•tus    [im-pi-tuh s]

1. a moving force; impulse; stimulus: The grant for building the opera house gave impetus to the city's cultural life.

2. (broadly) the momentum of a moving body, esp. with reference to the cause of motion.

One would think that health and or healthier lifestyles would be enough impetus for a pseudo intellectual like me to want and continue to do this until my ultimate goal is reached.

It isn’t that I don’t want to continue to lose weight and more importantly – it isn’t that I don’t want to get healthier which includes exercise and eating right because I do. It’s just that that; apparently; isn’t enough impetus to do so – for me it isn’t anyhow and it hasn’t been for a while.

So there lies my new goal – the unspoken…

I should I suppose apologize to myself for not being a responsible blogger – I apologize to myself because in not doing so it eliminates a means for me to be accountable for my inactivity. Also in doing so, it’s absolution for not posting my self-deprecating and sometimes sardonic posts that a few of you suffered through more than once (again with the self-deprecation) – to those that did – thanks!

And welcome back – the responsible blogger me (that I profess to be often) is back … again. And to anyone that has never read anything I have posted here in the past let me summarize for you –

I am a dieter, like all (most) of you…

I have lost some weight…

My LW is also a dieter – although she is much better at it than I…

I can be entertaining (much like a pet or a slinky)…

and

Expecting me to be verbose in my retorts or repartees on your blog might be an overextension of what or who I am – but I do read a lot of them and post on a few.

As for my blog it is nowhere near as diet/food porn/exercise related as some – it’s more about me and the bullshit I put myself through – more mentally than anything.

And finally to all of my blogger friends – you know who you are – thanks for asking and checking up on me from time to time and I will do my best to honour the ‘blogger friend’ contract in the future…

Turtle Power!

When I started this whole diet quagmire two years ago I mentioned in passing why I began this journey - a few of you might even remember that post – my catalyst for my persistence. Why I abuse myself at the gym and to this point have managed to shed myself to a much leaner – and happier me.

For those that didn’t read – or haven’t read; and for those that have plain forgotten I will re-tell the story to some extent with an addition to the ending to bring it up to date as it were.

The LW and I for the last couple of years have taken an anniversary trip to Puerto Vallarta. What started out as a “let’s go here because it’s cheaper than going here” trip has turned into a seemingly annual must visit – this year being our third straight and plans are already in the works for the fourth – same time next year.

The LW (in her infinite wisdom) is an incredible researcher and trip planner – she may have missed her calling – nevertheless, she had an adventure filled couple of days planned for us that included a leisurely stroll up the beach at sunset to release a newly hatched turtle into the wilds. Being that I am somewhat of an eco-friendly kinda guy – I was all for it and thought it sounded like an awesome way to spend an evening.

The LW’s research indicated that the event took place on or about 8pm approximately a km (a little over a quarter mile for you metric-challenged folk) up the beach – so we set out at around 7pm. It quickly became apparent to me that I was not going to be able to easily make this leisurely stroll. Worse, I couldn’t make it 500 feet.

I watched my LW walk alone with the sunset at her back that evening – to do something that I wanted desperately to share with her and I am sure her with me. My weight had often made things difficult in the past but I had always been able to skirt the real issue – but this was plain and simple black and white – I was too fat to make the walk with my wife. The catalyst was now set in stone – I wanted to release the turtles too…

Year two and I am now about 100 lbs lighter – we return for our annual jaunt to the destination that we both love. I am lighter (relatively speaking – work with me here people) and fitter having spent many hours in the gym at this point – so I am confident that the walk will be a snap this time. Surprisingly, we assume that the turtle release will be in the same place it was last year. What with all the development in the area there is little chance that an under-funded turtle release program would actually have to move – isn’t there?

Well it did – but I made the walk and back…

Year three, this time I am 180 lbs lighter and much more fit – prior to going to Mexico for this trip however, I checked online to ensure that there was still a turtle release program. There was – but it was a little further than the year before last – no problem – I was ready.

We set out on our journey at about 6:30 pm with an awesome couple that we had met at the resort (we’ll call them Brian and Kristin because that’s their names). We gave them the old “it may or may not end up in a turtle release” but they seemed up for the walk regardless. We made it to where they were the first year with no signs of “shelled-life” – so we continued. At about the 3 K (1.2ish miles) mark we spotted the tell-tale signs of turtle camp – we quickly scampered to them and asked where the turtle release was.

In typical Mexican fashion we got the typical response “2 KM’s that way” (he pointed south toward the marina) which was fine – we were already walking that way – so we kept walking –

Easily 5 km’s (2 miles) later we spotted the release camp – I don’t think I could describe the feeling of finally releasing one of these turtles into the wild. To me it meant so much more than that however and if nothing else – it has refocused me and made me realize that in life there is truly only so many opportunities to do things – and making excuses or living life peripherally because it’s easier than admitting a problem or pointing out a weakness only hurts one person – but it affects many.

Thanks for being patient with me Tiiu and trudging endlessly in the sand with me on my quest for the turtle – I wouldn’t want to have done it with anyone else at my side. Next year will be even better and I will be even lighter and fitter still.

Is this a weight loss blog?

I think it is, or at least it was at one time.

I have been glancing over the tripe that I have posted over the course of the last couple of months, and simply put – I am blogging about as well as I am dieting at the moment. I haven’t gained any weight, but I haven’t lost any either – call it a dietary state of flux because we wouldn’t want to call it what it really is now would we.

My professional life – in a nutshell has gone to shit and as such, I have become an asshole (apparently there is a correlation between the two as well). I’m not happy to say the least with my current situation and it is affecting me in more ways than I thought it would. I always thought I was very good at leaving work at work and walking in the house with a smile on my face regardless of what is going on at the office and quite frankly, I always have been – until now.

There is nothing I dislike more than people that treat people like anything but – I just don’t see the point and it grates on me. I hate watching an office full of people walking around in fear of our own personal Napoleon – it’s sad and pathetic and truly not necessary to run a successful business.

Has it affected me outside the office? You bet it has, I feel for the LW – she has certainly seen a side of me that even I couldn’t see and through it all managed to achieve her goals in outstanding fashion – my admiration (and admitted jealousy) is unending – congratulations baby (and no – she doesn’t mind when I call her that she isn’t Janet Jackson).

Has my diet suffered because of it? Suffered might be the wrong word, perhaps stalled would be a better term. I’m worn out and stressed to a point where I don’t want to do anything when I get home. It takes everything I have to continue my job hunt in earnest – believe me it has been hard remaining positive with the environment I find myself in day in and day out.

Over the course of the last week or so I have been to a couple of job interviews with a large advertising agency here in Toronto. I am excited beyond belief that something is going to pan out in this regard. I will hopefully finally see a light at the end of this shit-hole tunnel I am jamming myself through – and I’m not a small man.

For my own benefit something has to change soon – very soon or I will lose what little sanity I have left. God willing when we get back from the land of Country Music next week I will have a new outlook and be able kick start myself back in gear again.

Keep on keeping on – seems more befitting considering the current circumstances.

The Caloric Idiot Trap

Pretty much since the beginning of the year I have been relatively constant in regard to my progress. I have still lost but not really anything that I could be happy with. I convinced myself that I was in the midst of my first plateau which in essence is true but in reality it’s more than that.  It’s amazing how quickly we are able to justify things and then worse – come up for excuses for them – I’ll come back to this.

Once I reached the 175 lbs lost mark I realized that I was only 25 lbs away from 200 gone – 200 lbs less that I will be carrying on my already sport-damaged knees – but that’s another whine-fest for another time. Needless to say I set my new goal to be there by June – a full 15 weeks (give or take) from when I hit the 175 mark. So here we are the week before June and I am still 15 lbs away – in other words I am in a “plateau”…

Bullshit!

Here’s the truth –

Let’s start by getting back to where I was – I have been lax and I have been careless and I have been lazy and it took the LW to point it out for me to actually think about what I have been doing and the stupid habits I am developing. The little extras that I would add, the eyeballing measurements I would do, and the things I would do because “they were close and I had lots of calories to use up” – were all sabotaging my success.

In fairness to myself however, it’s very difficult to remain motivated for so long on one plan and with limited selection to choose from. My diet has been relatively unchanging and I rotate through a given amount of meals – for 18 months now. I’m not suggesting I haven’t had and or indulged in that period because I certainly have – what I am saying however is that it would be very easy to veer off course a little.

With that said I need to re-focus and guide myself toward my ultimate goal – and stop getting bogged down in the day to day crap. Part of me is still having difficulty wrapping my head around how much I still need to accomplish and considering how far I have already come – it’s hard to stay on course.

If nothing else this acknowledgement has given me the opportunity to re-gain my focus and strengthen my resolve because I now know what it takes – I just need to get back there.

The Cultural Juxtaposition!

The weekend is coming – I can see it in the distance.

 

Not for a need to get there however, I love my new job (so far). However, the LW and I have some really cool things that we are doing this weekend – hence the cultural juxtaposition reference which I will explain in a minute. And further to that – it got me thinking on another tangent which seemed to segue so well - so what better place for me to ‘report’ those tangents than here – my trusty EP.

 

Friday night kicks off my weekend with a bang – two things I have missed over the course of the last 10 or so years of my life have been the opera and playing hockey – yes; I am among the few that will admit to loving opera. It really does touch a side of me that makes it that much more special, especially live. The LW and I have never been to the opera together – my size always hindered us from attending events such as live theatre and sporting events; so we didn’t go. When I opened the tickets from her at Christmas it really signalled a change in our lives together – it made me realize that I could finally enjoy some of the things I truly enjoy doing with the person I enjoy doing everything else with.

 

With that said – we will be yelling things like “let’s go you &#^% harlots” and “kick her a$s” at Roller Derby on Saturday night – now if that isn’t a cultural juxtaposition I don’t know what is. You heard correctly, from opera to roller derby – I defy anyone to suggest that we aren’t a well rounded couple – not as much as we were (pun intended) – but well rounded nonetheless.

 

Cue the segue – I have been thinking just how different my life has become since I shed the weight and the changes, most of which have been subtle, are still huge when you put them in perspective. I suppose I should expect that when you lose 185 lbs (and counting) that things will be different – people always ask me if it has been ‘life altering’. I usually reply that it hasn’t – but it really has – big-time.

 

My new job is in the city which means more walking – I would have had to have been very selective about the parking because walking distances was difficult for me. Luckily there is indeed parking right across the street from the new office. However, by walking three blocks I save $4 a day – something I never would have considered.

 

Coffee would have been a problem – it’s all the way over there (he stands up and points to the Sbux). I would have relied on other people and when they were going all the way over there – now it’s a trip I make with more frequency than I would like to admit or share with the LW (it’s the only vice I have left so you aren’t taking that one).

 

And finally – and perhaps most importantly – my new job involves client services and although I suck at many things – dealing with people generally isn’t one of them. Now that I am closer to a ‘normal’ size people can finally look beyond what is sitting in front of them and listen to what I have to say and further, companies are willing to allow (for lack of a better term) me to sit in front of their clients – something I am sure was detrimental in my not so distant past.

 

The moral? (because there needs to be one when you babble as I have) …

 

Keep at it ladies – and you too will be able to one day paint your own juxtaposition with the person you once were.

I am the Stressman ... Coo Coo Ca Choog

I admit
It was me
I was the cause of the stress the LW unfortunately had to go through. She (because she is awesome) has been so good at not telling everyone here in EP land exactly why she was stressed and for that matter – how it was going to be fixed. She also hasn’t let it be known outwardly that she was really concerned – even though I knew she was. Well, I am now here to tell you what was wrong with her (because she won’t).

In late February, I became a victim of the restructuring that was going on at the company I worked for. It has been an interesting transition to say the least but I quickly realized that we were going to be better off for this in the long run. I wanted to get back into agency life but never had the impetus to do so – in other words, for security sake (ironic isn’t it) I was willing to be content with the corporate world and deny my need for more. So I suppose in some way I should be thankful that the decision was made for me.

Nevertheless, I had many changes that I had to take care of – the key to moving on is taking care of you first – and everything else will fall into place. The first thing I did was to get myself a membership at a gym because health has become so important to me. That and I knew that if I let myself get into my own head (oh the vastness) then I would be my own worst enemy. Family Fitness is now my friend – at least four times a week and I really like it – even better than what I had before.

Second, I needed to get the dental work that I do badly needed but was always too chicken to get and didn’t have the time to recover from (pick one). I also always wanted to get a tattoo (frivolous spending when unemployed is so fun) – so I got one of them too. And I basically took some time to get myself mentally in a place where I could move on with the next phase of my life – professionally.

Needless to say I am happy to report that today I began my new job working for a new media agency back in the downtown area (yay me). And even better is the fact that I know the owner of this company quite well and he is ecstatic to have me working for him and let me tell you – that feels really good and it happened so quickly.

To make things even better than that – I broke through the plateau that had plagued me for the last month or so as well and lost a whopping six pounds at weigh in yesterday (how’s that for a segue).

Thanks to everyone that has visited my blog only to once again see that I was nowhere to be found. And thanks too to the LW just for being you…

Coo Coo Ca Choog…-

Warning!

If you are going to post on my blog then you are hereby warned that I might single out your post if you say something particularly funny – offensive – or something I feel requires my particular point of view – rightly or wrongly.

My post last week mentioned the propensity of some of the people here to self-loathe for what I would consider a relatively minor indulgence. I said simply (as you can read below) that beating yourself up for eating something you know you shouldn’t is sad – this is a stance that I will not waver from because I still believe it. Just because diet is die with a t at the end – doesn’t mean that I have to suffer and if I did, I would have failed a long time ago.

Ashley commented that indulgence implies choice and that self-loathing is a result of a loss of control – which in her mind isn’t a choice that one makes – sorry Ashley, I disagree.

A lifestyle change is a lifestyle change – if you are committed to that change then you are committing to yourself which means you have made the choice to do so. People don’t decide to diet because it’s trendy – they choose to diet because they decide they want to get healthy or at the very least they want to live a healthier lifestyle.

We use the term lifestyle change here as a euphemism for diet because it’s a much nicer word that implies that we are changing our ways and eating healthier. In truth, the concept of a lifestyle change involves much more than diet and nutrition – at the very least it involves some form of activity and fitness as well. Once you have committed to that lifestyle change your indulgences become part of your regime and you are less inclined to beat yourself up over them. As a matter of fact some claim (myself included) that a day of decadence is just what your body needs once in a while to kick-start your metabolism. A piece of cake here or a cookie there is not going to make or break a diet – ever.

The problem I see and hear from my experience – is that the self-loathing tends to cause people to prolong their indulgences. “I’m such an idiot – I can’t believe I just ate that – oh well I guess I will start fresh on Monday” – need I say any more?

These are choices we make – we make the choice to commit to ourselves and if our commitment is strong enough then our indulgences will be few and far between – and further still will be the need to be pissed off at ourselves for ‘losing control’. Every time we stuff our hands into the cookie bag it is a choice we make to do so – you can’t justify actions by suggesting it’s a loss of control. If I am driving erratically and ‘lose control’ of my car and hit someone – it’s still my fault because I chose to drive that way – it’s all choice and losing control is not – and should not be a punch-line for over indulgence.

     *Gets down off soap box*  

The irony is – not a year ago I went for pizza with the LW and beat myself up about it for a week after (I even wrote about it here on EP in my blog) – I look back now and think how stupid I was because in the grand scheme of things that pizza means absolutely nothing to the successes and failures of the past year and a half of my life…

Keep on keepin on…