Monday, October 01, 2007

Bought the 34s

Okay, let me brag for a minute. I bought some 34s yesterday.

If you gain a pound a year, by the time you reach my age, that is, up there several million years old, you will weigh a ton. And it's pretty easy to gain a pound a year, especially working a desk job, driving everywhere, eating an American diet. Aw, I don't have an excuse, I let myself go, that's all. Over the past few years I just avoided looking at mirrors and pictures of myself.

Finally, last year at Christmastime, I got sick of it. I was fat. I had to buy pants with a 40-inch waist. I needed a new suit last year, and Jos. A. Bank, my regular place, couldn't even fit me, I had to go somewhere else and buy the "executive" cut -- what a euphemism! My neck was so big that, to wear a tie, I had to buy huge shirts and then have them taken in around the abdomen so the fabric didn't billow like a big sail around me. It still did. They figure somebody with a neck that big must be as wide as a doorway.

So I made a New Years resolution. This isn't the kind of thing I typically do, but after visiting family at Christmas I just knew I needed to change. I felt gross. I was ugly and uncomfortable. I decided to lose the poundage.

So far I have lost fifty eight pounds. Yesterday I went down to Kohl's, at Rio, and bought two pairs of Levis with a 34-inch waist. Ha!

I'll tell you what I did, not that you asked, but I think it's good to share tips. Basically I have cut down on calories. For breakfast I have a bowl of oatmeal and a small glass of milk, usually low-fat. That holds me till lunchtime, more or less, I mean, I might be hungry by 11:30 but I can make it till noon without dying of starvation. (And I make myself wait.) At noon I have an apple and a piece of string-cheese. That is a surprisingly filling little meal, it gets me to about 3:30, when I usually have another apple and sometimes another piece of cheese. Then at dinner I eat whatever we're having, just not a lot of it. If I'm hungry before bed I sometimes have a snack. I've had one hamburger, one hot dog, and one slice of pizza since the start of the year, lots of salads.

I found a couple of tricks. One thing I like is Campbell's Chunky Chicken with Vegetables soup. It comes in a big can, not the old Campbell's soup can that you remember. It's actually supposed to be two servings in a can, but it's only ninety calories a serving, so the whole huge can has less than 200 calories. So that's what I do, I heat up the whole can; it's filling, tasty with lots of chunks of chicken and potatoes and thick broth, it's cheap, and it's good for you. Lots of times I'll have that in the evening.

There's a whole world of low-calorie frozen dinners out there, and a lot of them are pretty good. Also, you can usually find them for a dollar or two dollars each. Especially in these last few months, I've had a lot of those. You'll find ones you like and ones you don't like. For instance, I like the WeightWatchers Smart Ones meatloaf, it's got nice tasty piece of meatloaf and mashed potatoes and it's only 250 calories. Some of them, like most of the Safeway brand ones, except the chicken enchiladas, are ... terrible. And read the label; most of them are under 300 calories, but some are pretty high.

One other good thing is sugar-free Jello. It's tasty, takes away the hunger, and it's only ten calories, which rounds to zero unless you eat a whole bunch of them.

At the start, I made a spreadsheet, recording my weight every day and plotting the graph of it. It was best to record a moving average of several days, because then the graph didn't bounce around so much. It's cool to actually see the line in the graph dropping. It was more trouble than it was worth after a while, so I quit, but it was good at first -- I think it's important to see that you're actually succeeding.

I also exercised at first. We have an elliptical machine, and at first I could only go for a few minutes, but I worked up to twenty minutes. I did that for a couple of months, but ... it's just so boring. So mainly I lost this weight through watching my diet, and not especially exercising.

Being hungry is a whole different thing when the scale is encouraging you. Yeah, you're hungry, but it's something you almost learn to like. I was losing several pounds a week there for a long time, well, usually I'd lose a few quickly, gain them back overnight, and then lose the same pounds slowly, and that'd stick. I don't know the physiological mechanisms behind that process, but that's how it works for me. There's a sudden temporary loss, recovery, and then slow permanent loss. And as you see over time that you're losing weight, the feeling of hunger becomes a feeling of progress, I don't know how to explain it.

I was dizzy for a month or two in there, it was weird. Sometimes I'd nearly fall down. I got to where I wouldn't stand near the edge of the Metro platform, because I didn't know if I'd tip over. I assumed that had something to do with my diet, but I don't know, maybe it was something else, and I haven't felt that way for several months now. Other than that, I haven't seen any negative health effects.

Well, whatever, I know this is the most boring thing in the world, and has nothing to do with sex-ed in MoCo. I just bought some new clothes and I'm feeling pretty good about this. I don't think I've been this size in twenty years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am in awe of your accomplishment, and I hope it will continue to inspire me as I go get lunch.


October 01, 2007 12:15 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Yes, David, I'm sure you're going to enjoy an apple and piece of cheese for lunch. (Some days I switch, and have a banana instead of an apple.)


October 01, 2007 3:13 PM  

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