Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 201: A great night!!!

Wow! I went out to the Revolver last night and had a great time. I got there about 8 and left just after midnight. I was walking around, mingling and just having a good time. There was a trio of women there, two young, one older and the older one just reached out and grabbed me by the hand and pulled me onto the dance floor. I'd normally say dragged, but that implies that I didn't want to go. I found out that although I don't really know how to two-step, I can fake it fairly well. The most important thing I had to do was watch behind my partner and make sure we didn't run into anyone as we twirled across the dance floor. After that she just handed me off to the other two and I spent the rest of the night bouncing between the three of them. I had a lot of fun last night and those three weren't the only ones interested in me, but they were the ones that actually reached out and pulled me to the floor. Talk about an Ego boost! :)

After that I decided to go do my grocery shopping. I knew that when I woke up in the morning I would not want to get up and go, so I went ahead and did it then. Apparently, that was the best thing I could have done. What normally takes me a half hour or an hour to do at 7 in the morning I was able to do in less than 15 minutes at midnight. I got home, put the groceries away, and finally went to bed about 130. I felt really good when I went to bed last night.

I got up this morning and it felt good to know that I didn't have to go to the store and fight the crowds. I had my protein shake and my supplements and just watched everything else closely for the rest of the day. My buddy Jeff texted and asked if I wanted to go see Cowboys and Aliens, so I went to go see it. It's definitely worth watching. Lots of action, aliens and cowboys. And for the females, plenty of gratuitous shots of Daniel Craig's butt in tight rider's trousers and brown leather chaps...and the first person that asks if they were assless chaps-all chaps are assless, folks, otherwise they would be pants. I'm just saying.

I'll be weighing in tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'll be down in my weight and not up. Either way, I decided to look at the big picture again and remind myself that I have come a long way in a short time and a stall was inevitable. The stall will break eventually and I'll be back to losing weight.

Zayt gesunt!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 200: A milestone

Wow. Until I sat down to actually write this, I didn't realize that this is day 200 since my surgery. 200 days since I started this journey. In that time there have been ups, downs, gains, losses, and all sorts of emotional rollercoasters to deal with. Since today was day 200, I decided to take a chance and check my weight. Unfortunately, there was no change in my weight. I'll check on Monday like I normally do.

I had to go out and buy a wedding present for my niece. She's getting married in early September and I wanted to make sure her registry wasn't completely wiped out. I can't actually make the wedding, but if my manager will work with me, I might be able to make the reception. It kind of depends on him.

Well, since this is 200 days since my surgery, I think I'll go out and have some fun tonight. Maybe go out and dance. Or Karaoke. Or just getting out and having some fun.


Day 199: Whoopsie!

Forgot to post last night, my apologies. Candace and I got to watching a couple of shows and I forgot all about the Blog. As usual, when I make that mistake, I'll post twice in the day to makeup for it.

Nothing really of note happened on the weight loss front yesterday. I had calls to make during my breaks yesterday so I didn't do any walking to speak of and my intakes were nice and normal. I've found that with the stones gone and the pain killers removed from my system, my body is getting back to normal. I took some new pics yesterday and my close up pic is a huge difference now. I look a good 12 years younger now and I'm still 60 pounds from my goal weight. As I've said in the past, I have got to find something to motivate me to start working out again. I need to start strengthening my body and hopefully toning the overall skin and muscle.

Right now I'm looking out at an overcast sky and knowing it's still going to be too flippin' hot today even with the overcast skies [sigh]. I'm going to get out and do something tonight to make up for the dubious week I've had.

I'll post again later today with something to talk about.

Min Tian Jian!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 198: A fading funk

Between not losing for two weeks and dealing with the damn stones, I think my normally upbeat attitude and outlook took a severe beating about the head and shoulders. Now that the stones are gone I feel more like myself again. I'm still missing that certain something...well, someone...but it's going to be ok in time. One way or another, things are getting better. I have made and reconnected with more friends and I have plenty of them to distract me. Old friends from High School, new friends recently made, and a few hobbies to distract me my old eating habits. It's not as hard as you might think. Recently I had an idea for a story so I pulled out a memo pad and started writing down my ideas to flesh out the reality of the world in the story. I'm still doing it, jotting down the ideas so when I start writing I'll have a basis for the history of the story. When the ideas slow down, I have other hobbies to distract me, like painting my miniatures. Writing the blog...well, that's become a daily thing for me and I see not only as a hobby, but almost a duty at this point. I know people read it every day and I want them to see the entirety of my experience. I don't write about everything. Most of it is dead boring. When something really significant or exciting that affects my weight loss happens, I'm going to talk about it. When I talk about my social life, It's as much to show how things can change for you as you lose the weight as it is to talk about my life. When I talk about anything, it is something that is significant to me and my journey.

But to step away from talking about your not-so-humble scribe for a few quick words, Cindy has lost another 3 pounds as of today. Her weight loss seems to be consistent now. She's lost 32 pounds since her surgery and 45 pounds overall and I'm glad to see it's working for her. If she can maintain 3 pounds per week, she'll be at her goal in no time.

Back to my own weight loss, I may not have lost much over the last two weeks, but looking at the big picture I've lost a lot of weight very quickly and I'm really glad for that. The loose skin..I'll deal with that in time. I'm not going to worry about it until I'm way closer to my goal weight. I have got to get back to working out, but the heat makes it hard to motivate to do that. I also need to find a real gym and a trainer and get a program for heavy lifting like my doctor wants. Hopefully the workouts will also help with the loose skin. I'll just have to wait and see.

I'm out for tonight.

See y'all later!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 197: I know what's missing...

Actually, anyone that knows me knows what's missing. I can date a thousand women over a thousand years and it wouldn't make a difference. I can go on weekend trips with a younger woman and go out to all the parties and things still don't change inside me. I can have long heart to hearts with another one but my heart belongs to someone else.

And no matter what I say, no matter what I do, no matter what, unless she decides she wants to be with me, I don't stand a chance. It's as simple as that. Sometimes I wish I could just let go of these feelings, but I can't. If I were to give up those feelings, I wouldn't be me. I am the way I am. If I anything I could do or say would win her back, you can bet I would do it. Well, with the exception of my daughter. I wouldn't give my daughter up for anything.

You know, usually identifying a problem helps you to resolve it. Not in this case. [sigh]

I still believe that sometime in the future we will find our path back together. But sometimes it takes a long time to find that path.

Do Svidanja.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 196:

How blank can I possibly be tonight? Not a single flippin' idea for the blog tonight.





Ugh, I hate this. Only thing I hate more than being blank is having a Kidney Stone. I'm usually very articulate and capable of writing on almost any subject, even if it's only an opinion.

Ah well, With nothing else coming to mind I might as well talk about the Movie Candace and I saw tonight. We went to go see Cars 2. Not a bad little movie, good for families and seeing the first one is unnecessary to understand what is going on. Good thing, since I never saw it. I do kind of wish we had been able to see it in 3d, the Italian scenes would have been fantastic in 3d. I do kind of wish someone else had been selected as the voice for Mater. Everytime he spoke, I could only see Larry the Cable Guy. Blah.

I hope this plateau I'm on ends soon. The whole thing is starting to feel like I'm just spinning my wheels with everything I'm doing. I just can't seem to make any headway with anything right now. I know I've done really, truly amazing with the weight loss and everything related to it, but I feel...empty inside. Like I'm incomplete. Like something is just missing. Something important. Maybe it's just because of the stones and the plateau, but something doesn't feel right anymore.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 195: Monday weigh in and a prayer

Monday morning and time for the weigh in. Grand loss of 4/10ths of a pound. Ah well, any loss is a good thing.

More importantly, I just got word that an old friend of mine is in the hospital with a second degree sunburn. She's going to be there for about 3 weeks. I'm sending out a prayer for her rapid recovery. If any of you, my loyal readers, would join me in the prayer, I would appreciate it.

Dear Lord,
You know my friend/family member so much better than I do. You know her sickness and the burden she carries. You also know her heart. Lord, I ask you to be with my friend now as you work in her life. Lord, let your will be done in my friend's life.

Lord, I pray for my friend just as your Word tells me to pray, for healing. I believe you hear this earnest prayer from my heart and that it is powerful because of your promise. I have faith in you, Lord, to heal my friend, but I also trust in the plan you have for her life.

Lord, I don't always understand your ways. I don't know why my friend has to suffer, but I trust you. I ask that you look with mercy and grace toward my friend. Nourish her spirit and soul in this time of suffering and comfort her with your presence.

Let my friend know you are there with her through this difficulty. Give her strength. And may you, through this difficulty, be glorified in her life and also in mine.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 194: A great trip

The trip was great. Hated the drive (60+ miles of straight stretch of highway through the southern Nevada desert) and the only interesting thing was having to pass through Searchlight which has a heavily enforced 25 mile per hour speed limit through town. Not necessarily fun, but it caught my interest.

We got to the hotel and we were able to check in immediately which was nice. The bed was very comfy (not as comfy as my own back home, but comfy enough). We got in the room about noon and headed down to the pool about 3pm. You can do the math as to what we were doing for 3 hours...

Anyway we got to the pool and it was filed with a mass of young adults acting like fools. Well, neither of us wanted to deal with that mess and we decided to head down to the beach. That was far more enjoyable. Quieter, the water was cooler, and since it was river water it was fresh water and had no chlorine in it. We stayed there for more than an hour and the only reason we got out was because we were both going a little red. We decided to quit before we actually burned and we went upstairs and I took a hot shower to warm up. She tried to just warm up in the bed but until I rejoined her, she wasn't warming up too well.

Another 3 hours later and we went down to get dinner at the Mexican place. We were going to go to the steakhouse, but they have a minimum charge of 25 dollars per person eating and I would not be able to eat that much food, so it would have been a waste. I had a good plate of steak fajitas and ate as much as my stomach would allow. We went back upstairs and I got hit by a Kidney Stone attack. I took a Lortab, but it didn't do the job by itself so after an hour I also took a super ibuprofen and soaked in the tub in hot water for an hour. When I was able to drift off to sleep, I got out and went back to bed and she and I both went to sleep about 2 hours later.

As much fun as we had together, one of the more significant events was actually an NSV for me this morning when she told me that I was so quiet when I was sleeping that she had to listen to my chest to make sure I was breathing and my heart was beating. That means my snoring is effectively gone now. She told me that I didn't snore at all. That was very exciting for me to have that confirmed.

This morning we fooled around some more and then we got cleaned up, checked out, and went to breakfast. I ordered the fruit plate which was seriously overloaded. It would have been enough for two people with normal stomachs to share and here I was working on it by myself. Again, I ate as much as my stomach would allow and then quit. Then we got in my car and reversed that horribly boring trip. Just as boring on the way back. I dropped her off and then went to do my grocery shopping. Then I came home to do some laundry and rest until tomorrow morning.

So I do my weekly weigh in in a few hours and I hope I'll have some sort of loss this week.

Do Svidanja!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 193: Saturday outing

I'm taking a trip down to Laughlin today. This is going to be a first for me, as I've never really been to Laughlin. Something new to do and gets me out of the house and out of Vegas for a couple of days and I don't think that's a bad thing. One of my lady friends asked me to go with her,that's the reason I'm going. The hotel we're staying has both a pool and a private beach on the riverside and I need to get me some sunscreen before we go (do not want another sunburn, thenkyewverymuch!). One sunburn per summer is about my limit. I really hate the itchy, peeling stage of a sunburn.

The plan is to go down, check in, and then hang out by the pool or beach and catch some rays and enjoy ourselves and each other. We'll drive back sometime tomorrow afternoon. Now before anyone starts thinking "happy ending", I'm going to point out that for both of us, this is purely a "friends with benefits/no strings attached" relationship. Everybody knows my situation and she's got a situation of her own going on. We have a nice, uncomplicated agreement going on between us and I'm not looking for anymore complications in my life.

So I'm logging off now, this is the end of today's transmission from your not-so-humble scribe. I'll be posting again late tomorrow.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 192: A lesson from Captain America...

I just went to go see the movie. It is AWESOME!!!!! Awesome cake with Awesome filling and Awesome frosting on top! I refuse to talk about it and spoil anyone's fun. Go see it and stay through the credits. You won't regret the extra 7 or 8 minutes to see the bit at the end.

The lesson I want to share that I gleaned from the movie is that before he became Captain America, Steve Rogers was literally a 90 pound weakling, couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag. He got picked on and bullied all the time. But he never gave in, never gave up and never quit. Even if he knew he would lose, he kept pushing, kept going. On this journey of weight loss, we have to do the same thing. We might get discouraged, we might want to quit, we might want to just say [FOXTROT] it all. We can't allow ourselves to do that. We have to take a little bit of Steve Rogers along with us and say to the bullies of laziness and the carb fiends "I will not quit, I will not give up, and you can't stop me!"

A quick editorial review: In addition to being a great story, there is also some very serious eye candy whether you prefer male or female. You have the good Captain and his love interest, Agent Carter, both of whom are very easy on the eyes. They are both excellent examples of male and female anatomy. He's very buff and built without being grotesquely ripped and she has all the right curves and is very well stacked, as evidenced by both her uniform and the dress she changes into later on in the movie. When I saw her in the dress my first reaction was "Yum!" If you are the kind who prefers fancy toys, guns, and big explosions there's plenty for you too.

Where was I? Oh, right, the lesson from the movie. Actually, I pretty well covered that already so I don't need to elaborate further.

I'll be going out of town tomorrow for sure without a computer, so I'll post early tomorrow morning and late Sunday to get the posts in.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 191: What I see in the mirror

I was sitting back trying to come up with a topic for the blog and I looked over and saw myself in the bathroom mirror and it struck me, "Let's talk about the mirror. More specifically, let's look in there and see what other people see and compare it to what we see.

I look in and I see my dark, spiky hair, my green eyes, my glasses. A face still a little puffy with extra weight, some loose skin on my chin and neck. Well, that's to be expected when you lose as much weight as I've lost. Moving down I see a trim neck, pronounced clavicles, developed pecs and shoulders and more loose skin. Below that I see a midsection that is still packing lots of excess weight and loose skin. I turn around and look at my back. Again, developed shoulders, too much back hair, and more loose skin. My butt and thighs - WAY too much loose skin. Calves are well muscled but not any loose skin. Over all, I can see every scar, every flaw, every little problem place and sometimes it drives me crazy. And I understand why I can see all the flaws. No matter what we do, we are our own worst critics. It's hard to see the good when all you can see is the bad. And that's the biggest problem we have as obese people. All you can really see is the fat, no matter what other qualities you may have.

Now let's see what other people see. Try to, anyway. Dark hair. Bright, intelligent eyes. A quick (and according to my sister, a patented) charming smile, High cheekbones, a triangular face. Broad shoulders, a strong chest and arms. A narrow(er) waist and strong legs. Let's put some clothes over that and conceal the flaws. Physically, I'm impressive and handsome. I can see why I'm getting checked out by the ladies now. With the weight loss, my self confidence has really jumped and that makes me that much more attractive. Add in my quick wit and high intelligence paired with a good education and I'm worth pursuing. Now look at my capability for emotional bonding that anyone would see after being around me for any length of time. Add in my capacity to forgive and I might have just brushed into the "too good to be true" category. When people discover that I'm still friends with my exes I fall into the one in a billion category.

Wow. The physical flaws don't add up or even come close to all that. I've been too hard on myself for too long. I don't think I'm the only one that's been doing it, either. Get up, go in the bathroom, and look in the mirror and do a real review and acknowledgement of your physical form. Don't sugarcoat it, but don't be so harsh, either. Acknowledge the flaws but don't give them more weight than they deserve. Tally it all up and I think you'll see, like I did, that you have more pros than cons. In this case, you are a plus (and not just a plus size). Don't let anyone tell you different.

Off of the very important subject of me (remember, your not-so-humble scribe) Cindy has lost another 3 pounds this week and like I said earlier, I'm glad for her weight loss even though I didn't lose this week. She has also dropped from a size 22 pants to a size 18 and she's looking incredible. Like me, she looks like someone is turning her clock back. If you had come to me 18 months ago and told me what a huge difference the weight loss surgery would make in our lives, I would have scoffed at you. Being uninformed, I would have called it cheating or the easy way out. After the last six and a half months, I'll tell you it's not easy. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Fast, yes. Easy, no. But it's worth all the effort.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 190: Kidney Stones and NSVs

Well, I don't know what's going on with my body, but I don't like it too much right now. Got hit by one of those all-too familiar pains that usually indicates a kidney stone last night, but it wasn't exactly the same. The pain was on my left instead of my right and it was only on the back, it didn't spread to my testicles, which is always a primary symptom. I used prescription strength Ibuprofen to get through work today and took a lortab when I got home and soaked in a hot bath for about an hour until the lortab kicked in. As soon as I got in the hot water, the pain was relieved. If it is a kidney stone, I think I know what's causing it. Last time I got this, the stones persisted for about a month. They disappeared for a couple of weeks and now they're back. The commonality in both attacks is the protein shakes I've been using. For 6 months I was using the GNS wheybolic extreme 60 without any problems. When the Kidney Stones hit last, I had started using Six Star. Six Star is available from Walmart and is about 20 dollars for a months supply. In between attacks, when I ran out of six star, I had switched back to the Wheybolic. The stones went away. Now I just started using a new batch of Six Star last week and the stones are back. Tomorrow I'm laying off the Six Star and I'm going to go get some more Wheybolic. If the stones go away, I'll be certain there is something in the Six Star that my body doesn't like and I'll just fork out the money for the Wheybolic. Saving the money is not worth the pain from the stones.

And I may not have lost weight this last week, but my body feels different (not counting the fershlugginer' stones) in a good way. I've also noticed women checking me out more often now and that's a huge ego boost.. On an NSV front today (and I may have talked about this before, if I have, blame the lortab) I wasn't wedged into the tub. I fit just fine in it and that's also a good thing. I've also made some decisions as far as my wardrobe is concerned when I get to my goal weight. For work shirts, I'm going to get more of those banded collar shirts I like so much from Wild West Mercantile. They're not expensive and they look very nice. I'll get regular slacks, though.

Not a bad little blog for someone under the influence of lortab, I think. Tomorrow is Cindy's weigh in and I want her to see a good loss. If she has a good loss, to me that would balance out for the non-loss I had this week.

Do Svidanja!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 189: Planning for Halloween

I know, you're probably thinking "Huh? WTH is he talking about?" To put this in perspective, I love Halloween. I love the costumes and parties and even taking the kids trick or treating. But I hate most of the "plus sized" costumes that are available. Truthfully, I hate a lot of the store costumes out there and I prefer building my own costumes for specific characters. Last year, I did "Neo" from the Matrix. The year before I did Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. This year, I'm considering doing either Doc Holliday or Wyatt Earp from Tombstone. Or maybe something completely original like a Steampunk (Google it) Scientist/Explorer. The point being that I can buy costume pieces without getting some horrendous plus sized costume or dropping a small fortune on clothing. Plus, if I make smart purchases, I can use the parts in other outfits during the year.

Now I have to decide, do I buy the pieces here and there at what ever size I am at the time or do I buy them assuming for a smaller size come Halloween. It's a dangerous mistake to make. If I buy them too big, the effect will be thrown off. If I buy them too small, then I might not be able to use them for Halloween. I guess I'll figure that out shortly.

See y'all later.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 188: Monday weigh-in

I got out of bed, said my mantra and my prayers and stepped on the scale. To see no change what-so-freaking-EVER! Didn't move one way or the other. No loss, no gain. I tried to not get upset with that. I've been preparing for this to happen since I started, but I know it hurt to see no change whatsoever. I called Cindy to tell her like I always do on Monday morning and she could hear by the tone in my voice and the way I was talking that I was down because of the non-loss. She said, "You always tell me to look at the big picture and not worry about anything else. Don't worry about it. It's probably not even a stall, next week you'll probably lose 7 or 8 pounds."

I thought about what she said and decided she was right. I realized then that I want and need her friendship as much as she wants and needs mine. We are each other's best support for this whole thing because we do know each other so well and we can understand what we're going through because we've been there. Friendship is just as important as anything else. In some cases, it's more important. Friends are the family you choose.

I don't have a whole lots else to go on from that, so I'm going to sign off now.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 187: AAR on the LARPing

I went to the game last night as planned, with my eyes and mind open prepared to observe. While I'm still getting my head around the rules, The most important thing I observed is that this was a completely social event. No number crunching, no dice rolling, no miniatures or maps. Just playing a part like an actor. I had a good time doing it and I think I'll be going to the next game next month. Everyone was friendly and outgoing and willing to explain exactly what was going on at any given time, so I felt very welcome. It was a nice change of pace from my recent social events. Not necessarily better, just different.

One thing I noticed was the large amount of protein being consumed. They had done a cookout for the game, and there was lots of chicken and hamburger and hot dogs to slide on down. I didn't partake, having already taken my protein and water prior to the game. Of course, I also noticed plenty of chips and soda going down as well. I didn't partake of those, either. I'm too far along to my goal weight to start sabotaging it now. I did make sure to drink plenty of water and I had a boost of good quality protein when I got home last night. I went to bed about midnight and slept for about 7 hours and went to the store and did my grocery shopping for the week. Then I came home and just had an easy Sunday.

Tomorrow is my weigh in and I will be posting those results sometime tomorrow as well.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 186: Saturday night shenanigans.

Well, Candace decided she wanted to go back to her mom's house today, so I took her back over earlier and I got an invitation earlier to observe/join in on a LARP game tonight. LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing. You actually play out the part like an actor in a play and it's all improv. It's different from regular roleplaying in that you actually play the part instead of just sitting around a table rolling dice and describing what you are doing. I've never done the LARP thing so it should be different. I know one person that will be there, but all of the rest are strangers to me. It's an opportunity to expand my circle of friends some more. Worst case scenario, I won't like it, but it gets me out of the house for a while and into interacting with other people. That's always a good thing.

I'll also dress enough to be able o go out after if I so choose. This is one of those times when it's good being single and free to do whatever I want without answering to anyone else.

Not a whole lot else to talk about today, so I'm out.



Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 185: NO TIME!!!

I won't have time to do this later tonight (Taking Candace to go see the final installment of Harry Potter) so I'm going to be writing this a bit at a time today.

On a serious note, I wanted to discuss self-image. My personal self image has always been super-heroic, but Fat Kid would short circuit everything else. What I've discovered over the last few months is that self image is really important to the weight loss process. Early on, I had people telling me how much different I looked but I couldn't see it so I did my then and now shot and I saw the difference, clear as crystal. That changed my perception of everything right then. I've seen where people have said that they used their fat as a shield or a crutch to blame all the woes in their personal life.

Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

The issue I have with continuing to do this is, when does it stop? We're losing the weight, so that particular crutch is gone or going away. Do we step up and acknowledge the issues that led to all of this to begin with and work to correct them or do we find a new crutch? For me, acknowledging the issue and working to remove it is the only option. For some reason. women getting this kind of surgery outnumber men by a factor of somewhere in the area of 7 to 1 or more. One of the issues that women have to face is that with their extra weight, most of the time, their breasts get big as well and that's a major source of their sexual self-image and for good reason. I know that as a male, I'm attracted to a woman with large breasts. Well, when that weight goes away, the girls tend to go with it. Not always, I mean if a woman has the genetics for dense breast tissue and large breasts, the fat loss won't make that much of a difference. Some, but not much. But if it's the other way, the large breasts came from the excess weight...well, the girls are gonna go away or at least start sagging. I know that is going to wreak havoc with the self-image.

I can sympathize with the self-image issue. I know I fight it every day. Cleaning out the remaining clutter from Fat Kid, keeping Feral in his cage, it's an active effort to fight all of this going on. But it can be done. Don't begin to think that it can't. Anything you have control of can be changed by you with a judicious application of you. Go to the mirror and tell yourself you are sexy, you are desirable, you are beautiful. Do this every day. Do it several times a day. Eventually you will begin to believe it. If you start having those thoughts that you aren't sexy, you aren't beautiful, you aren't desirable, catch it and tell yourself you are. Keep reinforcing it. If someone tells you otherwise, don't listen to them and correct them. If you let them get away with it, they will continue to do it. Don't let them. If they insist they are right, point out they are wrong. Stand up for yourself. If they get butt-hurt by your asserting yourself, then let them get butt-hurt. Kick them in the ass until they stop or go away. Either way, you win. If they relent and stop, then you win. If they walk away, then they weren't really a friend to begin with. Either way, you need to do what is right by you.

In that same vein, if your significant other is trying to push you away from any part of your support system, someone or something you want or need for support, don't let them do it. It's possible they view whatever they are trying to push you away from as some sort of threat to their position. If neither you or that support unit has done anything to threaten their position, the problem is theirs, not yours. Make sure any blame goes where it belongs.

So not so much light-hearted banter today. They can't all be fun and games. Weight loss of this magnitude is actually very serious, as is all of the issues that go along with it. I occasionally feel the need to expound on them when I see other people having the issues. I hope that by sharing my own journey and discoveries with them they will find the way around whatever may be blocking their success.

See y'all later.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 184: Blank blank blank...

I'm having some trouble coming up with anything to write about on the weight loss front today. Nothing really exciting going on on any of my personal fronts to bother talking about, in all honesty. I kind of hate these blanks like this, I have to ramble on and on until something finally kicks and I have a blog entry worth bothering with. But getting to that point can be a real pain in the ass.


I'm sitting back and thinking about how much weight I've lost. 160 pounds gone now. It's been pointed out that I've lost the weight of an average sized person. That's impressive by any stretch of the imagination. I've lost 72 percent of the weight I wanted to lose so far. 160 pounds in 6 months. The sleeve is, quite frankly, AMAZING! I think back to when I wanted to join the Army and I had to lose 75 pounds to qualify. It took me almost 2 years to lose that. I've lost more than twice that in just 6 months. I am so glad I had the surgery done and I wouldn't change it for anything.

I'm also using my time to make more friends and keep connections with old ones. That's has proven to be more entertaining and enlightening than I expected. I'm trying new things and re-evaluating some old ones. It's a great thing to me.

Cindy is down another 3 pounds this week and that's a good thing as well. Her total loss since surgery is 26 pounds or 23 percent of the weight she wants to lose. She's doing really well in my not-so-humble opinion. She's lost a total of 43 pounds between pre and post op. I want her to do well with this. In the big picture, she will probably beat her goal weight within a year and that's going to be exciting to see. I now understand why it's exciting to people to see weight loss of this speed and magnitude. It really is incredible to see changes like this so rapidly. I see her now and remember how she looked before and I can see an incredible difference. Not just in the way she looks, but the way she moves and the way she carries herself.

Well, it took a while, but I got today's blog written.

Auf Weidersehen!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 183: NSV and a balancing act...

My new jeans came in from Levi's last night. 42x32 size. I was a little hesitant to try them on, but I finally caved and tried them on right before bed. There is some dunlap, but it's not too bad. I should be able to wear these jeans for a few weeks before I have to replace them. The NSV came when I realized that the next pair of jeans I'll be buying will be in the 30's, not 40's. That was tremendously exciting for me to realize. The next size jeans I will buy will be 38's. Hopefully the last size of jeans I will buy will be 34's and I won't need to buy any other size from there on.

I've realized the balancing act is between resisting spending money on clothes that will be too big for me in a few weeks versus buying the right median size while I'm losing weight that will last a while longer. For example, if I had bought 42's for my reunion, they would have fit just fine come the Saturday of the reunion. It makes me glad that I didn't buy a suit for the reunion. I'm going to hold off on any major clothing purchases like suits, etc. until I get to my goal weight and stabilize. Once I get to that goal weight and stabilize, I'm going to buy a whole new wardrobe and clean sweep all of my old clothes.

I'm going to start pricing out gym memberships over the next couple of weeks and start doing that lifting that my doctor wants me to do to build muscle. I'll also need to meet with a trainer and tell them what I'm wanting to accomplish so they can help me build a program. It's going to be exciting!

I've seen where people say they did well on one week so they can slack a little. My mindset is more along the lines of "I'm doing well overall, but I'm not there yet so I can't slack off." I'm careful of my protein and water intake and I get exercise. Paying attention to the protein and water intake is about the only thing I worry about. Other than that, I don't worry about what I eat so much but I stay away from junky stuff out of habit now. Junky stuff tends to upset my stomach. Probably because of the high fat content. Also I see where newbie sleevers (I know I'm only 6 months out and technically still a newbie) are feeling down because they haven't lost as much as they thought they would. Also their energy levels have not come up the way they were expecting them to. If you think you're losing slow, compare your weight loss since being sleeved to your weight loss from the year prior to the sleeve. Is there a big difference?

I thought so.

As far as the energy levels are concerned, there are two major things that impact those energy levels that you have to take into account. The first is your healing factor, i.e. do you heal fast or slow. If you heal fast like I do, your energy will probably return within a month or so. If you are a slow healer, your body is probably still healing and it is using a lot of energy to do that. The second factor could be some sort of vitamin or mineral deficiency. You need to get labs pulled to find that out. That's why I have been consistently seeing my Primary Care Physician every month, so he can order labs and monitor my progress and make adjustments to what I'm doing. An example of that was my Testosterone and B vitamin levels were low, but my Iron levels were way too high, so he told me to stay off of the iron tablets entirely (iron takes forever to get out of the body) and he started giving me testosterone and B12 shots every month. If your energy levels are low, get those labs pulled and find out what's going on. Also make sure your primary care physician is kept in the loop. They are more familiar with your medical history than the surgeon or weight loss center will be.

Anyway, I hope my little blog has provided you some insight or entertainment in this transmission.

Tune in tomorrow for another enlightening missive from your not-so humble scribe.

Same bat time, same bat channel!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 182: News from the Doctor

I had an appointment with my primary care physician yesterday and he is very pleased with my weight loss. Now he wants me to start some serious weightlifting and building muscle. That's a nice change from "Only low impact exercise". He doesn't want me to get thin and out of proportion for my height and shoulders. Now I have to decide do I go back to the Krav Maga Classes or do I join a real gym and talk to a trainer?

On an upbeat, motivational note, I got the most recent release from Rick Springfield, the album is called "Venus in Overdrive" and the title track really rocks! It's fast and has a great groove to walk or exercise along with. Most of the songs are like that, but "What's Victoria's Secret?" and "Venus in Overdrive" are the best so far. Give me a few weeks and I'm sure I'll add to that. I can fire that song up for my walk at anytime of the day, any temperature outside and I know my speed boosts up a little bit. It's edgy, it's contemporary, and it definitely rocks. Good stuff from my idol. Yes, I am a huge Rick Springfield fan. I'm the type of fan that can tell you most of his stuff from the early days and will even tell you that "Jessie's Girl" is absolute drek compared to the rest of his body of work.

Right now I'm debating whether to go to a party Friday night. I'm supposed to have Candace this weekend and her mom already said she would take her, but her mom just had surgery to repair a hernia and she's still under the weather. My paternal instinct is telling me to skip the party and do the good father thing. I'm going to go with...good father thing. Parties come and go, but Candace is only going to be a little girl once. Ah well, next time.

Friday night is the release of the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise, anyway and I promised I would take them both to go see it. I try to live up to any promises I make, whether it's convenient or not. Most of the time, not only is it not convenient, sometimes it's damned annoying as well. That's not the case here, but sometimes...

Do svidanja!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 181: Monday weigh in: Mini-goal achieved!

So it's Monday morning and time for my weigh-in. I woke up, said my mantra and prayers and stepped on the scale for...

Body weight of 260 pounds. That's a 4 pound loss for the week, 133 pounds lost since surgery, and 160 pounds lost overall. That's also a mini-goal for me because that is the weight I was when I got out of the Army back in 1993. I'm convinced now that my mental and emotional condition are directly tied into my weight loss. When I'm feeling good on all three conditions of physical, mental, and emotional, I consistently lose weight. If any one of those conditions is compromised, I lose less.

Still, 160 pounds lost is such a massive change for anybody to deal with, the emotions are going to be flying. My average weight loss over the last 26 weeks has been just over 5 pounds per week. I have to say, the surgery has not only changed my life, it probably saved my life. If I continued the way I was going, I would probably have died a lot earlier due to obesity related health problems.

If you are on the fence about the surgery, I highly recommend getting off the fence and getting it done. I don't advocate this surgery for anyone that isn't morbidly obese. If you just need to shed some weight, change your exercise and eating habits. But if you are morbidly obese like I was and nothing else seems to be working, talk to your doctor and start your journey. I was speaking to a neighbor not too long ago and she was saying she wanted to get the surgery. I looked at her and immediately asked why? She's 23 years old and weighs 135 pounds and is about 5'5". She's curvy, but hardly overweight. I explained to her that medically, she doesn't need the surgery and she's not heavy enough to qualify on any level. I have no problem with people with weight issues getting this surgery, but I also don't think that it should be considered unless you have a major weight issue (100+ pounds overweight) with corresponding health issues. In her case, I recommended that she change her eating and exercise habits if she's concerned about it, but she really doesn't need to. She's curvy and women are supposed to have some curves. I think she looks fantastic, but in her self image she thinks she's too heavy and that's a very hard issue to overcome.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 180: Six Months post op

So today is officially my six month sleeveaversary. 6 months ago I really started this journey and it has been a series of revelations, both major and minor, big and small. Physical and emotional. This was one of the most life altering decisions I have ever made. It ranks up there with joining the Army, getting married, the birth of my daughter, and my divorce. As of last Monday, I've lost a total of 156 pounds. I'm almost at the weight I was when I got out of the Army, and that's a real kick for me.

At the going away party I went to last night, I had lots of people telling me how good I was looking. My date asked me if I ever get tired of hearing that and I said No. It feels great to hear that being said, every time I hear it. It ranks up there with my high school classmates telling me I look exactly the same as I did in high school.

On the food side, I cooked myself up a 3 ounce cube steak for dinner and I was able to eat a little more than half of it before Bobo gave me the stop signal. I'm getting better able to tolerate foods now, and that's another good sign. I don't know if it's a good sign or not, but I actually felt some hunger today. It could have been head hunger, but I'm not sure. I just know I felt hungry. Fortunately, it was lunchtime so I took care of it. One bite and the hunger was gone, but I finished my lunch anyway.

Well, in a few hours I'll be saying my mantra and prayers and then stepping on the scale for my weekly weigh-in. I'm going to finish watching my movie and drinking my water and then off to bed so I'm properly rested for work tomorrow.

See y'all later!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 179: Busy weekend

Well, I got that festering anger out of my system yesterday and I was able to focus and get through the rest of my day. I had a good bit of texting with one of my friends last night. I was supposed to go to a party, but it got put of until next week, so I went out to my favorite Karaoke bar and had some fun. I sang four songs. I was going to do 6, but after number 4, I got tired and went home. I sang two of my standards, Bad to the Bone and It's a Sin and then I added in One and Everybody. I don't do One very often because it's long and has a 90 second intro and a 90 second instrumental right in the middle. Even a short version is 5 minutes and the standard version is 7 minutes. Both of those went off without a hitch and I had people telling me to sing louder on Everybody. I was a little nervous about Everybody because I've never sung that one before at Karaoke. Fortunately, I know it well enough that it went off without a hitch. I also had more than a few ladies flirting with me, and that felt really good.

Today I cleaned up my place because one of my friends came over and then we went to a going away party for my friend Steve. He's moving back to New York next week and I didn't want to miss the party. The food was good (what I could eat of it) and she and I had fun just talking and joking with each other. Some of the people there haven't seen me in a long while and they were all saying how good I'm looking now. I love hearing that. I'm starting to suspect that my mental condition is really directly affecting my weight loss. If I'm in physical or emotional pain, I lose slower. When I'm feeling up and generally good about myself, I lose faster. The week after my reunion I lost 6 pounds. The week after my kidney stone, I gained a pound. I've had mostly a good week, so I'll check my weight on Monday and see if there is any corresponding result between weight loss and my mental state.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 178: People sticking their noses in...

...where they sure as hell don't belong. Sorry, Loyal Readers but I'm going to deviate from the weight loss journey a bit today. If I don't write this out, it's going to fester in my psyche. I'm also not going to be editing for content. F-Bombs are going to be flying, so be prepared.

Anyone that has read my blog from the beginning knows about my situation with Cindy, knows how I feel, etc. She knows how I feel, I never hid or tried to hide it. But I also respected her wishes and never did anything to sabotage her relationship. Every month, there is an actual support group meeting for gastric surgery patients that she and I both attend. Of late, her man has been attending as well. Honestly, I don't like him, but he has every right to be there as part of her support system, so I don't begrudge him that. Apparently, people at these things have been coming to him after the meetings and telling him that I'm staring at her. I might be. If I am, I'm not aware of it because none of these people have come to me to discuss it. These same people are apparently friends with me on Facebook and have told him about my "underwear" pics. It's one pic, taken the day after surgery of my wounds and I'm clearly getting out of bed and getting dressed. I think some people are intentionally causing drama here and since it doesn't directly involve them, they get all the fun of watching the chaos they are causing and I'm FUCKING SICK OF IT!

For the record, if it doesn't involve your life directly, stay the fuck out of it! This is already a volatile situation with them. She's trying to maintain a friendship with me and a relationship with him. I'm trying to just get on with things, and he's insecure in the whole thing, as evidenced by what happened last night. I'm sorry for the friction this is causing her relationship. It's not right. I'm not apologizing because I didn't do anything wrong. Neither did she. Neither did he. This little triangle is getting buffeted because of a bunch of nosy so an so's. The ones who should be apologizing are the ones who started this mess.

If you're one of these people I refer to above, you should be ashamed. Mind your own damn business. I think there should be both misdemeanor and felony "Not minding your own damn business" violations in the criminal codes. If I find out who's doing all the talking and I find them in my friends list, you can damn well bet they will be unfriended with a quickness. I'm on the verge of never going back to one of those support meetings. I don't need them.

If she and I decide to remain friends, the only other person that impacts is him. Whether he likes me or not or I like him or not is irrelevant. She wants to keep me as a friend and as long as I respect her wishes in this, it's no one else's business. As long as I'm not doing anything to sabotage their relationship, whether I look at her, talk to her, or stare at her is irrelevant. She's a beautiful woman and I know I'm not the only man to stare at her. Apparently, everyone else is fascinated by my staring, if I'm doing it.

Sweet shivering Shiva!

Do I want her back? I'm saying right now, yes I do. Am I willing to hurt her to do so? No, I'm not! I would rather be without her and be able to look at myself in the mirror rather than do something underhanded and get her back and know that my actions hurt her.

If you're one of these talkers, you're the ones that are hurting her.

Kee-riced all my tea.

I'm out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 177: Grrrrowlllll......

This is not a good growl. I'm so mad right now that I'm seeing a dozen different shades of red. I got a phone call from someone that should NEVER have gotten my phone number EVER. And...never mind. I go into any more detail and I'll get completely off of the weight loss journey this is supposed to be about.

Focus, boy. Focus...

Forget it, I can't do this tonight. My mind is way too preoccupied with that phone call.

Sorry, loyal readers. I'll get something better written tomorrow.

Auf Weidersehen.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 176: Another NSV

I was checking out my sunburn in the mirror last night when something caught my attention: my collarbones. They are becoming visible now. I looked closer in the mirror and I also noticed that my cheekbones are becoming more prominent and the roundness of my face is really going away and being replaced by a way more triangular shape. I never really thought I would ever get back to looking like this, and I'm really looking forward to getting to my goal weight now. I've never really had an issue with my self-image and now I'm starting to look like my self image. It's very exciting to me.

And as much as I may grouse about buying new clothes, I broke down and ordered two pairs of size 42 jeans last night, mostly because Levi's had an extra 30 percent off sale going on, which, when coupled with my 10 percent off coupon meant I got 40 percent off and I got two pairs of jeans for less than 70 bucks including shipping. The last time I looked at jeans at the Big and Tall man's store, it was almost 70 bucks for one pair of jeans without tax or anything else. I'm quite frankly loving that I don't have to buy from the big and tall man's section anymore. That also means that I can actually order a true Browncoat and not have the thing custom made. If you don't understand the reference, google "Browncoat" and "Firefly".

For the record, I really, really, REALLY hate sunburns. Right now I'm in that horrible itchy stage of healing and it sucks. As much as I would love to sport an all-over tan, I think I would end up resembling the Heat Miser instead of a Sun God. I'm going to try tanning again once my burn heals some more and see if I can get a nice color going on. I'm already getting slim and trim, so I might as well keep trying.

Do Svidanja!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 175: This is getting expensive...

Having to replace clothes every 6 weeks was bad enough, but every two weeks is a bit much. Still, I have to do it. Pain in the butt, though. I don't mind replacing pants so much and I can wear them even when they are too big for a bit, but when a pair of slim straights looks like comfort fit jeans, it's time to go. I doubt that I'll have to replace shirts at this point thanks to my shoulder and chest measurements. At this point, I want to get to my goal weight so I can buy a new wardrobe and be done with it.

Don't take my grousing too much to heart, though. This is an NSV, even if it is an expensive one. I don't mind having to buy new clothes, I just wish it weren't so quickly. Although I suppose that means I'm getting to my goal weight faster than I planned, and that's a good thing. I think back and this time last year I was tipping the scales at 420 pounds and now I'm down to 264 pounds. That's an incredible change. Especially since the bulk of that loss has only occurred since January 10th of this year. I've lost 71 percent of the excess weight and I'm in shooting distance of my goal weight. It's kind of nice no longer being one of the "Big men" in the company. I'm still big in height and width of shoulders, but waist? Not so much anymore. Given that my 44 slim straights are baggy on me, I could probably get into 42s now.

Cindy is down by 23 pounds since her surgery, so her average is just under 5 pounds per week. Considering the weight she wants to lose, I'd call that excellent progress. I tend to look at the big picture and not at the individual snapshots alone. I know she's a little disappointed that she hasn't lost more, but she is losing and that's the important thing. I figure another 7 pounds and she will have to consider getting some new clothes.

I don't have anything else to expound about today, so this is the end of today's broadcast.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 174: Monday Weigh-In

I crawled out of bed at 5 am, said my mantra and stepped on the scale. My body weight 25 weeks post op is 264 pounds. That's a 4 pound loss for the week, 129 pounds lost since surgery, and 156 pounds lost overall. It kind of feels like once I got past the half way mark, my body decided to just keep shedding the weight. Either that or my body is responding as much to my mindset as everything else. You always hear that if you believe in something, really truly believe in something then you start to make it happen. When I decided to get this surgery, the most important thing I had to do was adjust my mindset to my new lifestyle. As sleevers, we all know what we have to do to change and succeed at this. I still see people having had the surgery still eating the same things (just less of it) and having the same exercise habits as before. Or I see or hear complaints about the taste or smell of the protein shakes or shots. Or they can't stand drinking all the water and they are still drinking sodas. At this point, I have to say, "Get a clue, people!" If you don't change your habits, you can't change your life. We all know that the sleeve is a tool, and it's up to us to use that tool wisely and make it work for us. Don't be trying to work around the sleeve and eat the same shit you used to eat. I don't much care for the taste of the protein shots or shakes, but I've gotten used to it and I use them to make sure I get my protein in for the day. Again, another tool to use in the project of rebuilding myself. I know I sound like I'm preaching and I guess I am. I just can't see why you would undergo this particular surgery and not change everything else to make it work at its best potential. The surgery is highly invasive (removing 80 percent of your stomach is invasive, I don't care what they say) causes a fair bit of pain and discomfort and is irreversible, unlike the lap band and gastric bypass. If you're going to go through all of that, why wouldn't you change things to get the best results? Why stay with the same old habits and patterns that made you overweight to begin with? Make a change for the better and make this sleeve work for you.

And I'm not preaching to anybody that is working the sleeve properly and still having trouble with stalls or slow loss. If what I described doesn't apply to you, then don't sweat it. I don't believe in political correctness on my blog, and if you take offense at what I said, you have two choices: 1) Get over it, because I'm not changing my writing style or opinions or 2) Quit reading my blog. And don't waste your time or my time complaining about it to me. Any questions, refer back to choices 1 & 2.

And for my Unapologetically American readers out there, have a safe and sane Independence Day! It's the 4th of July, so go out and have some fun today and tonight and remember what we are celebrating today. July 4th is the day we declared our independence from the tyranny of Great Britain.

See y'all later!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 173: Sunday!

I normally look forward to the fourth of July, but seeing as I'm working tomorrow, I won't be enjoying it until I get out of work at 330. I'm not complaining (too much) seeing as it's holiday overtime, which when combined with the OT from last week will be a nice chunk of change on my next paycheck.

The AC at my place is still out, probably will be until Tuesday at the earliest. That sucks. It's too [FOXTROT]ing hot to be dealing with this right now. I remembered reading an ad in one of those high-priced gadget companies a long time ago about a personal cooler that was worn around the neck. I don't have one of those, but by sticking a damp cloth in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes and then wrapping it around my neck, I achieve the same effect. It's not perfect, but it will help me deal with the heat for now. I was out at the pool too long today and I have developed a bit of a sunburn on my shoulders. Oh well. This too shall pass.

Well, in a few hours I'll be saying my mantra and stepping on the scales to check my weight for the week. We'll just have to wait and see what happens then. I'm hoping for a great result, but preparing for a sucky result. Both can happen, and it seems to be a crap shoot as to which will happen. I'll just have to see.

Good night, all.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 172: Not cool...

Damn it! Of all the weekends for my AC to go out, had to be this weekend. Hottest weekend of the summer, Holiday weekend, and I can't get anyone to pick up the phone that would actually be responsible to fix the ferslugginer' thing. Oh well, just gives me an excuse to get out and go do something. At least until the thing can get fixed. Candace and I spent the day going to her music lesson, then back home and spent the afternoon at the pool keeping cool. We got home and I let her watch some Hannah Montana and then we both watched Alice in Wonderland (the latest version) and she went off to watch her shows while I watched Gangs of New York. If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend renting it or getting it on Netflix. It would have done better when it was released except it was going against both the first Harry Potter movie and Lord of the Rings- Fellowship of the Ring. Scorsese was a fool to release it against those two heavy hitters. He should have waited 3 months and it would have done great in the theaters.

I've been having a lot of text conversations with the friends I reconnected with last weekend and I'm loving it. It was actually kind of funny, one of the ladies I was talking to Friday and Saturday was more like playful bickering between a couple that had been together a long time. We shared more than a few classes back in High School, too. We always kind of played back and forth like that and we went out on a couple of dates after high school. Kind of makes me wonder what might have happened if I hadn't joined the Army. Oh well, can't go back and rewrite history. We also live about 300 miles apart now, so I don't see anything happening there except reconnecting to an old friend. But I do have to say I had a great time at the reunion.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 171: Lord, I'm tired...

3 straight days of overtime wears a person down. I am thoroughly worn out and ready for a rest.

My parents came into town for a quick visit today, I just wish I could have gotten out of work earlier so we cold spend more time together. They are very proud of my weight loss and they are very happy to see me actually losing my weight once and for all. They are two of the three people that not only love me and care about me, sometimes I think those three people love and care more about me than I do myself. Well, at least they used to. Over the last few months, I have really regained my self confidence and my self worth. I've learned to love myself as much as I love anyone else, and that is really a key component to success in anything.

I've determined that for any good relationship, particularly a sexual relationship, there has to be a degree of both selflessness and selfishness. If you can love yourself as much as you love your partner and give when you need to give and take when you need to take, it has to be good. In all honesty, I have to admit that I would always put my wants and needs second to my partners wants and needs. And sometimes that doesn't work. I got myself so used to making sure they were satisfied that I let my own pleasure take no importance, and that was ego busting for them because they thought I didn't enjoy it. I wouldn't push for sex because I figured if they wanted sex, they would initiate the connection, so I just waited patiently. That apparently sent a signal that I would only have sex if I had no choice or I felt like they wanted the sex. It never occurred to me to initiate the contact and make them feel like they are sexy and desirable. Well, from now on, I will be more aggressive and I will make sure that I am selfish enough to get what I want and make them feel like they are not just loved, but wanted.