Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Year

It has been one year since I started my weight loss journey. There have been ups and downs, as is the case with most journeys. Overall, it has been a wild and successful ride.

One year ago, I was an under active overweight man walking (on those occasions when I did walk) with a very intricately carved African Chiefton's cane. I was out of work with not a lot of work prospects, due partially to my size. There was so much I was trained to do that I could not do because of my failing health.

I was eating myself to an early grave, and at 52, early meant a lot more than it did at 32.

On August 8, I came home after a hospital visit and told TJ, I was changing my eating habits. August 9th began my journey. The week that followed saw me joining SparkPeople and beginning to track my eating. It was a week later I began my exercise program that consisted mainly of walking.

Since then, the changes have been too numerous to tell them all. Some are easily measurable, while others are not so easy to measure.

Changes

The easiest change to measure was what was reflected on the scale. When I started, I tipped the scales at 350 pounds. This morning, in the one year anniversary week, I set them spinning all the way up to 208 pounds. My impossible goal, set one year ago was to lose 130 pounds in a year. I really did not expect to achieve it, but knew I had to set a goal, or I would never move from my starting point, most likely. I, actually, reached my goal around the ten month mark. I had added some calories to my diet now to slow down and maintain. Even with those increases, I have lost an additional 12 pounds in 2 months.

Calories

Did someone mention calories? We didn't track my calories before I began, but in reviewing my old eating habits, my wife estimates that I was consuming around 3500 calories a day, and with no exercise (I could be nice and say, "little or no exercise" but it was definitely no exercise) I was just adding and adding to my size.

What I am telling you at this point is that my results are not typical and what I did might not be healthy for everyone. You have to listen to your body closely. You have to pay attention to the healthy and unhealthy points in it. You are the custodian of your own health. No-one knows your body like you do. You have to be alert to changes in muscle and muscle tone. You have to notice changes in hair. sickness, bowel movements, energy levels, and others body activities to know what you need to increase or decrease (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins.)

I went from that estimated 3500 calories a day to 1100 calories a day. (I did consult my doctor, eventually.) I had many people telling me that my calories were too low. My doctor told me what to look for if I needed to make changes. In the first nine months, I averaged about 1100 calories a day. In the last month, I am averaging closer to 1300 calories a day.

Sizes

When I began I was wearing pants with a waist size of 58 and/or 60 inches. Today, I wear pants with a waist size of 38 inches and they are a bit lose on me. I do have a pair of dress slacks that are a 37 inch waist that fit well. So, there is a measurable and noticeable difference of 23 inches in my waist. My hips have reduced about the same as well. My shirts, pre-journey beginning were 4X's. Today, they are size large. My suit jackets have dropped from 56's to 44's also. Yes, noticeable and measurable differences indeed.

Walking

I did mention walking, didn't I? One week into the journey, I began my walking regimen. (I didn't know it was a regimen at the time. I thought it was just a walk.) It has been my primary exercise. I do have a soloflex, but tennis elbow has prevented me from using it. So, I walked one third of a mile the first night and it tried to kill me. I did it without the aid of my cane. I came home 20 minutes later drenched in sweat. However, the next day, I did it again ... three times. Then I increased it steadily. From then to now, I have logged over 800 miles of walking. I live in a small town. Everyone sees me walking. More than a few people have let me or TJ know that my journey has inspired them.

I have been working again for 7 months now. I am working again as a construction electrician. The job has physical demands that I could not have done before I started.

Secret

The secret is simple, there is no secret. Eat less, burn more. It is just that simple.

If you haven't made up your mind to lose weight, it doesn't matter what program or what new fad diet you try, it will not work. Once you have made up r mind to do almost any of them will work.

Energy levels

Yes, my new energy levels are through the roof, comparatively speaking. I do more, more often than since my wife has known me (almost 10 years.) it is definitely noticeable, although I am not sure how measurable it is.

“I bet you feel better, huh?”

I hear this all the time. I almost say, “duh” when someone asks. However, politeness reigns. Of course I feel better. Who wouldn’t feel better?

Anyway, I go on.

Happy one year anniversary to better health. What started then as a weight loss effort has become so much more. It has turned into the ‘newer healthier me’ journey.

I have lost over 40% of my starting body weight.

Happy anniversary to all those that started the same week I did. I hope your successes are as great or greater than mine.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On Your Day, Dad


Dad,

It has been a while
Since we were able
To talk, face to face

And, it seems these days
There is more and more
I would want to share

I have never been
One of those
‘Talk to your grave’ types

So, I think of you
And the things I would share
And content myself

I know you would be proud
Of the way my life has turned
And the obvious influence you have

I am not angry
At your unexpected passing
Or seek to place blame

I am sad at times
Even though my mind accepts
It is the way of all flesh

Time will bring this moment
Even to my children
Should time continue to stand

I can only hope and pray
That my influence
Has been as positive and profound

So, this is my
‘Standing at the edge’ talk
And sharing with you, Dad

I am honored to be ‘like’ you
I am as proud as I have ever been
To be your son

His Word
Upon which
You patterned your life

Tells us that we all seek
That approval of the Father
To hear “well done”

And while I do seek it
I like to think I can hear it
In your voice on the winds

“Good job, son”

“Thanks, Dad”

“Happy Father’s Day”


Ron Simpson, Jr.
June 19, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

my clothes don't fit ... What's new?

It is not a new thing that my clothes do not fit. Well, most of my clothes don't fit.

For most of my adult life past 25, I have owned clothes that did not fit. There were always clothes in my closet or in the drawer that I could not wear because I had outgrown them. You know the clothes; the ones you are going to lose a few pounds and get back into, and then never do. They end up hanging, unused in the closet until we have a yard sale or someone we know needs them. My favorite was to donate them to a needy family that lost everything in a fire. that way, I wasn't giving them away because I was too big, but i was helping the needy.

Still, there were clothes that were too small, clothes on the verge of being too small, and the clothes that fit. Every now and then, quite by accident, some clothes too large for me would show up. Someone was giving them away. Someone gave them to the wife, or mom. They would end up in my closet, with the comment, "those will never fit me" and in a few months they would be my regular day to day wearing clothes.

There were always suits too small, pants too tight, and shirts that were uncomfortable.

Well, my closet still has clothes that do not fit me in it.

The difference is; for the first time since I can't remember, they are all too big for me.

My current jeans are a size 38 (for those the didn't catch the last entry.) My closet has 38's, 40's and 42's in it. My shirts are 16.5 in neck and my closet has those and a few sizes larger. My jackets are a 46R and my closet has those, and 46's and 48's. (Today I bought a 44 at a thrift store, and it fit.)

so, my clothes don't fit, and ... I love it !!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A new size !

My weight loss has slowed down (by design) since I reached my original goal weight.

I am still losing, but only about a pound a week. I reached my goal of losing 130 pounds in just 9.5 months. It is now about 10.5 months and I am down 134 pounds to 216 pounds.

My last post gave the numbers. This post is a happy report that I am now wearing 38 inch waist pants. It came as a bit of a surprise as I wasn't expecting a size drop.

Still, I am thrilled.

So much has changed since I began. Some things are still sinking in while others haven't even began to register.

I am happy to report this new size, though!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Monday arrived on Friday

It seems that today is going to be a Monday in spite of what the calendar says.

I know Monday gets a bad rap because it is the first day back at work after the two days away for the weekend (for most folks.) It could be that our routine is slightly askew because we haven't done it for two days. It could be because our head is still in weekend mode. It could be that Mondays are indeed a cursed day. For whatever of these reasons, Monday gets the bad rap.

This week's actual Monday was a holiday. I spent it at the lake. I spent it on the dock by the water. I spent it in a kayak on the water. I spent it not thinking about work.

Tuesday came and went without a hitch. It seemed I had skipped the Monday curse. Until today, that is.

In an effort to get an early jump on the weekend and to do some errands, I decided (with permission) to go into work early my usual start time is 7AM. This morning I was shooting for 6AM or earlier. It was going well. I was up at 4:30 and out the door by 5 o'clock. After a stop for gas, I was on my way down the highway. It was looking good.

Then I arrived at work. The building is locked up but can be accessed by my ID badge, which, it seems, I had left at home. Arghhhh!!!

Fortune smiled, in that several of the other employees had the same start early idea, and I called one and he let me in.

I gathered my things. On my belt are five items during the work day. Two are personal and three are work related. My personal items are my cell phone and my pedometer. My work items are my company cell phone, my company pager, and my company key holder.

With all that in tow, I headed to the room on the sixth floor of the hospital where I was to be working today. Well, after a fruitless trip to security to get a temporary ID (they don't dio badges until 7.) Once upstairs and at the door, I insert my key and discover that it does not work. Arghhhh!!!

I can't get in to work and no one will be here to let me in until after 7.

Oh, Monday, you sneaky dog! You laid low until I was completely unsuspecting, and then you sprang.

Bad Monday, bad!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

By the numbers

41 weeks have passed since I decided to change my life/eating style.

Here is what has happened, by the numbers:

August 8th .. the day before I began:
Eating an estimated 3500+ calories a day
weight: 350 pounds
Waist : 58 inches
Hips: 60 inches
didn't measure thigh or upper arm until mid September. At that time my thigh measured 28 inches and my upper arm was 16 inches.

Today, May 22 ..
Averaging 1100 calories a day for the past 41 weeks.
weight: 220
Waist: 40 inches
Hips: 39.5 inches
Thigh: 24 inches
Upper Arm: 13 inches

Losses:
130 pounds
18 inches in my waist
20.5 inches in my hips
4 inches in my thigh
3 inches in my upper arm

Since I began walking (August 16) I have walked 613 miles.

Last week, we began biking. I have biked 18 miles this week.

Those are the numbers.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It happened



now .. it is time to set new ones !