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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

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 !

Thursday, May 19, 2011

good bye to the final X

For longer than I care to remember, I have been in the extra sizes.

I was in 3X to 4X shirts. I was in 2X to 3X shorts and underwear.

The last shirts I bought were a large and the last shorts I bought were a large as well.

Extra large's are loose and extra comfortable, but a large is now loose enough to be comfortable as well.

So long, last X. I'm not going to miss you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

adding new cardio

My wife and I bought bikes.

That statement alone should be enough to convince you that we have lost our minds.

Our reasoning is that, since we cannot walk together because of the difference in our gaits, we could ride together easier. Moreover, it would be easier for me to go slower on a bike than it would be for me to walk at a slower pace.

She got her bike first. She went on a ride and enjoyed it.
I got my bike over the weekend. I got a used Ironhorse Warrior mountain bike. I don't care much for the skinny tire bikes.

Sunday, while she is cooking supper, I tell TJ that I am taking a bike ride. She stated that she thought we were going to be riding together. I told her we would , but she was not invited to my virgin ride (I am a virgin again after so many years) to hear her snickering behind me.

That ride was only a mile. Oh my! I remember biking being much easier when I was in college.

Monday and Tuesday's rides were 2.5 miles.

It must be serious. I have now bought locks and helmets and gloves, and a water bottle.

One of the guys at work asked me if it was mostly level ground where I ride. All I can say is that the Mount in Mount Sterling does not stand for level ground. Mountains ! It is all hills and valleys. However, it seems there are more uphill than downhill, if that is possible.

There are places on me that hurt that have not hurt in a long time.

And .. Who ever decided those seats were comfortable ?

I just want to know.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Didn't see this day

I am two pounds from my goal weight.

Less than ten months ago I weighed 350 pounds.

This morning, I weigh 222 pounds.

Even when I set the goal, I didn't see this day.

I am awash with emotion.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

nine and a half months later

One of the boards I subscribe to on SparkPeople asked that we post how we are doing sine we began in August. Here is my response:

Well, since I began in August, I have done well.

I have lost 125 pounds (from 350 to 225.)
I have went from wearing 60 inch waist pants to wearing a 40 inch waist.
I have gone from wearing 3X shirts to wearing a Large to XLarge.

Since August I have logged in over 550 miles distance in walking. I have retired my cane.

I have stopped taking any medication for acid reflux. It used to be a daily pill.

My synthroid dosage has dropped and continues to do so.

When I began, I was looking at disability retirement. I could not do the job for which I was trained and worked at for over 25 years. I am a licensed Master Electrician. Now, I work a 40 hour week every week.

I am much more active and able to do so much more.

My wife says my snoring has greatly reduced and my sleep apnea has gone.

Quite a difference from nine and a half months ago.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Ever vigilant means never again.

This week has been a week of working an odd shift (1:30 to 10:00PM.) it has wreaked havoc with my usual supper at home. i have eaten out a couple times this week, which is not the usual for me, but haven't done too badly.

My worst day was actually brought about by a breakfast out rather than a supper out. I was out and about on Wednesday and got caught in the foul weather sweeping through the state. I stopped for breakfast a a fast food place and ended up with a 500+ calorie breakfast instead of my usual 200 - 300 calorie fare. Still, I finished the day with under 1500 calories. Being over 1400 made my eyes go wide. My normal is 1100 to 1200 calories a day.

I haven't really checked it but my average for the week, while a little higher than normal, is still well within any prescribed calorie ranges and still within the 'pleases Ron' range. An occasional day with high number, while freaking me out, doesn't do a lot to the bottom line. As long as those kinds of day do not become the norm, i am OK.

I expect that I will maintain this week. That is fine. I am down 125 pounds in under 10 months. I can rest on my laurels every now and then. I am 5 pounds from my goal and still living the new lifestyle. I am on guard to make sure old habits do not resurface.

Ever vigilant means never again.

I like wearing 40 inch waists instead of 60 inch waists. I like wearing 17 inch collars instead of 20 inch collars. I like wearing a large pullover instead of 4XL pullovers.

Ever vigilant means never again !

Friday, April 22, 2011

A solid 40

This week I have been fitting into my size 40 waist work pants. They (work) gave me some since my original uniform pants were size 48's. They are pleated and therefore generally fit larger than actual 40's. This was not really an issue, because, when they gave them to me, I couldn't even button them. Now, I can.

This week, the wife went to the thrift stores and got me some jeans (usually more true to size) that were also 40's. I didn't think they would fit.

Well, they did. So, I am now in a solid 40 inch waist jeans.

And ... I am 5 pounds from my goal !!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday morning and a new size !!

This morning, I stepped up to the closet to get my work clothes (Khaki pants and a burgundy collared shirt.) Because of the busy weekend and TJ's recovering from surgery, recently washed clothing did not get into the closet yesterday (my fault.) However, I have several shirts to wear and therefore there were plenty to choose from.

Pants were a different story. There are 5 pairs of pants provided by work hanging in the closet. The problem, however, is that they are the ones we ordered in January. They are waist size 48. I have most recently been wearing 42 waist pants.

Fortunately, kahaki's are abundant is various sizes at local thrift stores. Unfortunantly, I didn't have any of those in the closet in the 42 waist variety. There were a pair there in the 40 waist size. I thought, "What the heck, try them on."

I did.

They fit. They fit well.

They were even a little loose in the waist (the way I like them.) I didn't have to struggle to button them.

High five to me!!

That is a great way to start a work week - fitting into a new (smaller) size.

Friday, April 15, 2011

and the scale moved ...

This morning (not my normal weigh-in day) I stepped on the scale first thing after getting up. My scale (whether it is lying or not, I cannot say) said I had lost 3 more pounds, bringing the loss total to 122 pounds. This is 8 pounds from my goal. This is totally exciting.

Nine months ago, when I began this journey, I didn't see this day. To be perfectly honest, I didn't see me reaching my goal in the year i had planned, but I did see the necessity of setting a long term goal, to keep me motivated. I didn't set an impossible goal. I did set a goal that I felt was obtainable, but still didn't feel I would reach it in the time frame allotted.

However, when I started, the weight came off much more quickly than I imagined.

I am averaging very close to 3 pounds a week, even though there are several weeks where no weight was lost. I did not expect this.

Last week, the scale didn't move.

This week it did.

Of course, nine months ago, I didn't see myself registering for the Bluegrass 10,00 in July, either.

Changes and scale moves ...

Saturday, April 02, 2011

12 to 13 pounds away ..

I am 12 to 13 pounds from my one year goal in under 8 months!

This morning the scale was fluctuating between 232 and 233. It couldn't seem to make up it's mind. Obviously I do not have one of those high tech digital scales. I am strictly old school with my spring and dial scale.

It is the scale I started with, sort of. It only weighs up to 300 pounds. So, until I was under 300 I used the scales at mom's house. Now that I am under 300 (by over 60 pounds) I can use my scales at home.

What else has changed in the last 8 months? I am glad you asked !

Eight months ago I was still unemployed after over 2 years. I must also admit that I was most probably almost unemployable. I was over 350 pounds and walking with a cane. (How unimpressive is that in a job interview?) In out age of discrimination enlightenment, weight is still discriminated against, probably more than we realize.

There are stereotypes about the overweight. Some of them are true about some of the overweight individuals. Yes, some are lazy. Yes, some lack willpower. Yes, some are weak. Yes, some just do not want to lose weight. However, it has been my experience that those same things can be said about any addiction or addicted group. Some fit the stereotype.

So, eight months ago, morbidly obese and out of prospects for work, I changed me.

Today, I am obese. My BMI is 35.3. Eight moths ago it was 53.2. At my heaviest recorded weight (DR visit) it was 55.0.

Eight months ago, I walked with a cane and then only when i deemed walking absolutely necessary.

Today I am working (for 3 months now) on a job where i walk 5 to 7 miles a day. I am working as an electrician at a major university hospital. (University of Kentucky - Go CATS)

Today I eat about 1100 to 1200 calories a day instead of 3500 calories a day.

I walk without pain, mostly. I still have tendonitis in my heel, but back and knee pain is mostly gone.

Today, I don't look at tasks with the same drudgery with which I used to view it.

I get my own stuff.

I walk. A lot.

I can wear a pair of 40inch waist pants. (8 months ago .. 60inch waist)

I wear XL shirts. (8 months ago .. 3X or 4X)

Eight months ago, I thought I could. Today, I know I can.

Come on, last 12 to 13 pounds. I am ready to see you gone.

I am walking .. downhill .. to my goal!

Monday, March 21, 2011

3 months ahead of schedule

130 pounds in 52 weeks.

That was the the goal.

That was 2.5 pounds per week.

It is easy to set a goal way off in the distant and piddle along. This is what I normally do. I am a procrastinator. I am relatively sure, when I told the wifey that I was going to lose 130 pounds in a year, she was saying in her head, "I'll believe it when I see it." I can't really blame her there. I am a master electrician. When we moved into our house 4.5 years ago, she told me she wanted outlets in the bathroom. This house is over 100 years old and lacking in outlets. I said' "Sure." Do we have outlets in the bathroom yet? "No!"

Don't get me wrong. I am not knocking setting long term goals. I am not knocking setting goals at all. Some people excel with goals; Other people do not.

My short term goal is to lose weight (some) each week. My long term goal is to lose 130 pounds in one year.

In the 32 weeks since I changed my lifestyle, i have not always met that weekly goal. There were 3 weeks when I did not lose any weight. I didn't panic. I continued doing what was right. In the time mentioned I have lost 116 pounds. That is 3.625 pounds per week, or I am at my goal for week number 46 (3 months and one week in the future.)

Since the beginning, my long term and short term goals have not changed, however, some new goals had been added.

One of the new goals is to eat healthy. Another of the new goals is to be more active.

It has become that the process has become the goal. The way to achieve my short term and long term original goals is to eat more healthy and to exercise more or be more active.

I can see the finish line from here. I am 14 pounds from my year goal.

After that, I will work to maintain my weight . I can still lose a few pounds without becoming unhealthy. Eventually. I plan to have the skin removal surgery. That will actually cause the loss of about 15 to 20 pounds more. I am now in the 40 to 42 inch waist pant size. At my goal I will be a solid 40 or 38 inch waist. After the surgery, I will most likely be in a 36 inch waist. I cannot remember when the last time I was in that size.

Anyway, that is the update for this week. Thanks for listening. Thanks for your kind comments.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The newest pics !

moving out of +$2

I had to break down and buy some clothes, as all my clothes look like I am wearing my big brothers clothes now.

Tammy bought me some jeans at Burkes Outlet. We stopped at Walmart for a completely different reason and I decided to check out their selection of jeans. They had their usual selection. However, I noticed that my size now no longer falls in the 'larger sizes, add $2' range.

Wahoo ! This eating right and getting healthy is paying off ! (laughing)

I went to a suit outlet yesterday and got a couple pair of dress slacks, a couple new neckties, and a new sports coat. It was funny. I bought them based on size. I did not try them on. I figured if they were a bit small I would lose into them, eventually. When I got home and decided to try them on. I held them up and said to myself, "These will never fit; They are way too small."

Even in my hands they felt too light. They felt wrong going on. Well, not wrong, I guess, but different. I got used to buying large and comfortable (comfortable = extra large for growth.) These seemed too small.

Imagine my shock, when they fit. They not only fit, but they fit like pants are supposed to fit.

Losing the weight was never about looking better in my clothes (well, not mainly.) It was and is about being healthier, living longer, getting around with greater ease, and feeling better inside my skin. This looking better in clothes is just a great bonus.

Pictures will be posted soon.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

New weight and thrift store shopping

This weeks weigh-in yielded the following result .. 29 weeks in .. 105 pounds gone !!
We had to go shopping yesterday as only two of my dress shirts now do not look like balloons on me. We got blessed in that one of our favorite thrift stores was having a 'fill a bag for $5' thing. I got six dress shirts and TJ got two skirts and a blouse for $5. That is about fifty-five cents per piece.
We decided early on in this loss thing that we weren't buying new clothes until the weight is gone. Clothes that fit don't seem to fit long, so there is no need to buy new things. I went through my T-shirt drawers last night and culled out over a dozen t-shirts that were excessively large. Being large is not an issue with a t-shirt, normally, but these were hanging down to nearly my knees and sleeves hanging past my elbows as the shoulders didn't fit anymore.
It felt good to cull out clothes because they were too large instead of too small.
I could get used to this.
Well, for at least another 25 pounds, which is how far I am from my goal weight !

Monday, February 14, 2011

What new thing can be said about love?

It is little wonder we speak of falling in love
As love is always there, waiting for us

Love is old, yet, love is ever new
It is as old as time, but as new as the next second

Love is giving, yet, it is always open to receive

Love is patient, yet, it blazes with an impatient passion

Love is an open hand, yet, it holds you in an unbreakable grip
I am captured by its freedom
I am in bonds to its liberty

It is not hidden, but laying in the open,
waiting to be found, waiting to be discovered
It begs to be found, yet delights in the mystery of discovery

It boldly calls out to men and women, yet creates a shyness about itself

It is in the thoughts of the mind
It is in the emotions of the heart
It is in the whimsy of the soul
And it is woven in the words of the mouth

All the words, spoken or penned, have not contained it
All the tomes of time have not described it fully

There is nothing new that can be said of love that has not been said,
Yet, it falls fresh from the lips of every lover, as if never spoken before

It is not the words, old or used,
But the freshness of the heart
That has been washed anew,
By the fire of its passion

These are not new words I say to you,
But a new depth, and a new height,

I love you, Tammy Jo

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2011
Ron Simpson, Jr.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

the interference of work

Today brings to an end my fifth week at work. It has interfered with my keeping you posted about my daily challenges and triumphs. Trust me, they still come. Because of work, they are different, but still challenges and still triumphs.

When I worked before in the construction industry, lunch was generally something cold, easily packed, and not very good for you nutritionally speaking. It was usually a sandwich of some sort and a bag of chips. When I worked in factories. doing construction, we would utilize the factories cafeteria, which offered many unhealthy temptations as well. Now, that is not to say that you cannot eat healthy and work construction, I just never did.

That was one of my fears on this job.

Fortunately, the hospital cafeteria has a small salad bar. It does offer lettuce and spinach leaf; with shredded cheese usually; carrots half the time; broccoli most of the time; boiled eggs most of the time; cubed ham and/or turkey sometimes; and a light dressing (usually ranch) all the time.

The problem is that the other choices, less healthy (not necessarily unhealthy) and more calories are usually cheaper.

I try to stick with my morning drink (190 calories, 25g carbs, 10g protein) and a salad at lunch. Every now and then (but it got to be too often so I stopped) I will have biscuit, gravy, scrambled eggs, and two slices of bacon. Sometimes for lunch i will do the turkey burger, but it tries to pull this french fries in with it, so i am careful.

So, I have learned to eat right even when eating wrong is so readily available.

Work does interfere with my morning walks. I used to walk about 8AM for a few miles. Now, at 8AM I have already been working for an hour. To compensate for it though, I wear my pedometer at work. So far, I am walking (at work) about 25 to 30 miles a week. It is not the same as walking a straight 2 to 3 miles in the morning, but much of my walking at work is between buildings, so it does stretch out to several half mile walks and a lot of less than half mile walks. Still, walking is walking and calorie burning is calorie burning.

All in all, i have adjusted.

Now, I just need to catch up on my blogging.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nearing 6 months

6 months ago, before I changed my life, I was wearing pants with a 60 inch waist.

Today, 5 months, 3 weeks later, I put on a pair of pants with a 44 inch waist, and they fit just fine.

The last time I wore pants this size was around the time my youngest (biological) daughter was born. That was late in 1987. Twenty-three years ago, I left size 44 behind. Today, I welcomed it back.

I am 10 pounds away from losing 100 pounds. I am 40 pounds from my one year goal.

Six months ago, I walked with a cane. Last week, for work, I walked 28.6 miles. No cane !

While, literally, my life is much lighter than it was, it is much lighter emotionally as well. I never fully knew the impact my extra weight was having on my life. Looking back, I can just begin to see how far I have come. There is more to come, and more to go in the future.

Friday, January 28, 2011

planning the 100 pound party

Nearly six months in, i never thought I would be working on the plans for the '100 pounds lost' party. Yet, here we are, 90 pounds lost in five and a half months. I should hit the 100 pound mark by the end of February.

I am amazed at how this change has gone. God has blessed my efforts greater than I could have imagined. My BMI has dropped from 53.2 to 39.5. My BMR has dropped from over 4000 to just over 2000. My hips and waist have dropped nearly 30 inches.

I am humbled and blessed by the work He has done and is doing through my efforts.

If you are in or near Lexington Kentucky at the end of February, stop by for the celebration !!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Crazy Week

This week was crazy at work and with the weather.

Weather-wise, we started out with snow and ended up with more snow. Thursday evening saw a rapid snowfall of about 3 to 4 inches. Friday's commute to work was on half lane to quarter lane roads. Still, to work I drove and arrived safely (thanks, Lord.)

I got a new pedometer last weekend and wore it at work this week to get a better idea of how much walking my work day entails. Including the 4.5 miles I walked on Monday (Holiday/no work) I walked 27.2 miles this week. I told my wife I had walked a marathon! She told me she didn't think the idea of a marathon was to walk it in one week. I told her that she could walk a marathon her way and I would walk it my way (laughing.)

This mornings weigh-in yielded a total weight loss in 5.5 months of 90 pounds.

90 pounds !!!!

I weigh 260 pounds! The last time I remember weighing in this general area was when I weighed 250 when my youngest daughter was born. She turned 23 in October.

I actually had on a pair of pants recently that were 44 inch waist. The were a bit snug, but not choking my waist. When I started I had a pair of 60 inch waist pants hanging in my closet. For now, I am mostly wearing 46's for the comfort of the loose waist. I am probably in the middle (45) as far as what would fit me just right.

I have adjusted to the increased calories needed since I have returned to work. I am still giving my body enough to work well and function properly, without adding weight.

And, at the end of this crazy, cold, snowy, walking week, I am 90 pounds lighter than when i began.

I like it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

week two closing

Week two at work is coming to a close. It has been a busy week and a sore feet week as well. The weight progress continues though, unabated by the including of a 40 hour work week.

This morning, marking the near close of my 23rd week of modifications to my diet and exercise, brought new results via the scale. My net weight loss for the 23 weeks is 88 pounds. My waist has shrunk 13 inches since I began.

I figure I walk about 2 to 3 miles a day at work, so, although my usual morning walks have been relegated to weekends only, my miles walked has continued to climb. Yesterday, I surpassed the 200 mile mark in miles walked.

When I started, the task of losing 130 pounds seemed quite daunting. however, now, with the weight of 88 pounds behind me, pushing me to continue, the journey keeps getting easier. I still remain vigilant so as not to slide back into old habits. it is so easy to do.

Onward and less-ward ..

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Work week one down.

This week I went back to work after being off work since June 2008. My work for most of my life has been a physical type of work. I worked as an electrician in the construction field. Before my recent stint with unemployment I was working in the electrical field, but in the teaching end of it. That was not nearly as physical as the field work I had done for most of my life. I began teaching in December, 2004. So, it would be safe to say that this week’s physical work activity is the most I have done in work in six years.

Five months ago, I could not have done this.

Five months ago, I was an out of shape fat man. My wife said I had the activity level of a garden slug (hurtful, but true.)

Some of you have been reading me for a while, but for those that are newly joining my journey, let me catch you up.

August 9: I changed my life. Eating ruled my life and when I changed my eating, I changed my life.

August 16: I changed my physical activity level. I walked with a cane, when and only when, I deemed walking absolutely necessary. Arthritis in my back and weight related pain in my knees and ankles kept me chair bound for the most part. It was not just the pain, but my unwillingness to endure it to work through it. I started walking for exercise.

January 3: This was my first day at a new job. I am working on the construction team for a local university medical center. On that first day, I walked nearly five miles. Some of this was trips I wouldn't have to make daily, but it also included some walking that will be a daily requirement. By the end of the week, that total would be over fifteen miles.

I experienced a new thing this week as well.

While being off, my main exercise was my walking. I did other things, but not in the form of exercise. My work around the house was limited. My calorie intake was usually between 1000 and 1100 calories per day. This gave me no problems. It was enough to fuel me daily.

Tuesday, around ten-thirty in the AM, I was working with one of the other electricians on a project, when I began to notice some odd sensations. I had stomach pains and got nauseated. I know this is not odd in as much as there has been a cold or virus thing running around between Tammy and the kids. I figured it was just part of that.

Then, shortly thereafter, I began to get a euphoric feeling. It was a feeling of being slightly disconnected to my surroundings. I felt light-headed and, what I can only imagine is, high (I have never been high before.) I excused myself to go to the restroom. There, I called my medical expert, Tammy. She correctly told me it was my sugar level. It was too low.

I went to the vending machines and got a three musketeers bar. After eating it, most of the symptoms subsided. I ate lunch within the hour (Oven Roasted Chicken breast sub from Subway®.) After lunch, all the symptoms were gone.

The energy burned while working was far more than the energy burned while walking and being at home. My walk was an hour of energy consumption. This was eight hours a day of energy consumption.

To fix this, I add 8 ounces of orange juice to my morning drinking. I usually have a 24 ounce diet Dew® in the mornings. When it is about half gone, I add the orange juice to the remainder. (Orange juice is one of the main ingredients in Diet Mountain Dew.) I sip this as the morning progresses. Since Tuesday, there have been no more issues with low sugar.

One of the things I have maintained all along with this is that this is what works for me. It may not work for you. It stopped working somewhat, when my activity level changed drastically. This required a change in what I do as far as eating is concerned. You have to do what works for you and what you like doing. If it doesn't work or you don’t like it, you won’t continue it.

I still love food as much as I ever did. I just love it in smaller portions. I love it in healthier choices.

And, when it is necessary, I adjust. My calorie intake has risen to 1200 to 1300 a day in light of the new needed energy level. It will take a while for my brain to see this as OK, but it will come.

Sorry for the novel-ette, but it has been a while since I blogged.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Back to work

Monday was my first day back at work in over two years.

It was an interesting day. I wore my pedometer because I was going to miss my morning walk. I had to go to the parking office to get a pass for parking in the employee lots. It was a good little drive, but I decided to walk. Then there was the walk to the security office to get a badge. Then I had to walk back to the truck to get the second paper and back to the security office. Add a walk to the clinic for a TB test, and then back to the office, and then to the hospital to actually work, and by the days end, I had walked over 4 miles and 9200 steps.

Apparently it was a slow day.

And .. I did manage to maintain my new eating plan ..

Saturday, January 01, 2011

All I can say is .. Amazing

It has been an amazing 4.5 months.

August 9th, I began a journey. I wasn't sure how it would go but I did have a destination in mind. I decided that, in one year, I wanted to go from 350 pound to 220 pounds. I picked 52 weeks to lose 130 pounds. This would require me to lose 2.5 pounds a week (on average.) I wasn't sure I could do it, but i was sure I couldn't continue as i had to that point.

Most of my jeans were size 58" waist and snug. I did have one pair of navy blue work pants that were a size 60" waist. they fit, but were a little bit loose. My 3XL shirts fit snugly and 4XL's were loose. Since i don't care much for tight fitting clothes, I was a 60" waist, 4XL kind of guy.

It has been 20 weeks since I started. By the numbers:

It has been 38.5 percent of the time I chose. 20/52 weeks
I have lost 60 percent of my goal weight loss. 78pounds/130 pounds
I have lost 23 percent of my total body weight (from 350 to 272.)
My pants have dropped in size from a 60" waist to the 46" waist pants I wear today.
My Shirts have dropped in size from 4XL to 2XL.
My collared dress shirts have dropped from 20 inch necks that I couldn't button to 17.5 inch necks that are loose.

My BMI has dropped from 53.2 to 41.4.

One week into the change, I began walking. In the 19 weeks since, i have walked over 175 miles for my health. i only count the miles I walk exclusively for exercise and not my normal day to day walking (which has increased as well.)

When I look back over the last 4 to 5 months, all I can say is .. amazing.

I give thanks to God and my family for their wonderful support.

2011 looks to be a better year as far as my health is concerned.

Let's see where we can go !!