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Friday, January 25, 2013

My Weight Loss Notes



My Weight Loss Notes
This would be the full compilation of every weight loss note I posted on Facebook, stretching out nearly a year. The notes have been left in their original states, all typos/references included.  As always, any and all comments are welcome. I hope it helps.

My Weight Loss: Introduction
by Zach Johnson on Monday, July 25, 2011 at 9:11pm ·
You ever have a moment in life where, after lord knows how long, something that has been said to you for years finally catches up to you and makes sense? I had that moment Saturday night. 

It wasn't pretty.

To say I reacted well to it would be a lie; I was enraged, literally ready to erupt like a volcano. What set off the fuse? What set off the explosion?

Peanuts.

No, not the cartoon or comic strip, literally peanuts. On the weight loss program I decided to use to achieve this seemingly insurmountable goal, I am not allowed to have peanuts. I love peanuts. I love peanut butter. I love anything to do with peanuts, period. Peanuts and I go so far back, that if peanuts were a family member, I'd probably call them my favorite one.

I am not allowed to have peanuts and this pissed me off to no end. My response to the anger? I took a nice, two hour stroll, down a busy road. I did not die.

We'll see how well that works out. ;)

But in all seriousness, I was angry. And more than being angry at peanuts I was angry at myself.

Now, the common reaction here would be "Well, obviously, he was angry at how he let himself go" or some other logic like that. In part, that's true-I look in the mirror at myself and can find little I truly like. If I attempted to live in a nudist colony I would be kicked off the premises immediately, without ever having to take my clothes off. I just do not look good, even decent, as a someone with a shirt off, let alone any other clothing.

The main reason, the large part of why I was so pissed at myself, was that I felt I was giving in. I felt I had finally broke under the wants of society and another chunk of my soul was sold off. "Society has won," I said to myself, and that was really the kicker. I have, for years now, fought against what society perceives as "right" for my generation. Society says it's "right" to do a lot of things I do not agree with; I will never agree with them on a lot of subjects.

I am a very stubborn, very opinionated, human being. I like to win. I like to to be right. 

Concerning my weight and my body in general...I am forced to agree with society. I. Am. Wrong.

And I feel like I've lost and losing sucks, we all know that. This isn't a "Well, you did it for fun" type of thing. This is a "You really screwed the pooch on this one, didn't you?" type of thing.

And I freely admit I have messed up, for quite a few years, concerning my weight and my body in general. Things are bad folks. I may be "healthy" at least in terms of sickness, illnesses, and the like, but as far as long term viability goes, I don't need a doctor to tell me how screwed I am.

I know how screwed I am if I keep things going the way they're  going.

And so, here I am. I have to lose weight and I have to lose a bunch of it in order to survive. I'm 22, going on 23 in October, and by God, I will not be this way any longer.

Now, let's all take a moment and realize that, like most other people, I've said this before in my life. I've "attempted" to lose weight before with limited to no success. You know why I failed? Because I wanted to and because I made it so. Sabotage it an art form in of itself and folks, I'm pretty good at sabotage. I'm the Picasso of sabotage. Especially self-sabotage.

Before, I figured things would work out for themselves. But I'm not part of the lucky few who have a fast metabolism, large appetites, and body frames that can withstand the abuse that is the regular American diet. I don't fit that category in the least.

I have a metabolism that's slow, molasses in an ice age on an ice planet in a galaxy devoid of heat in a giant meat locker slow. It's ridiculously slow. It makes Stonehenge look fast-and the bloody rocks don't even move!

No, folks, I am part of the every growing mass of Americans who have slow metabolisms and not a lot of motivation.

But I can't afford the membership to that not-so-exclusive club anymore, not in the short term or the long term. It has to end. And Saturday night, it did.

Here's the issue though-I'm a big guy. I don't look it to some people, but the scale tells the truth most of the time and this time it speaks volumes of truth-I'm still a big guy. I've lost a few pounds over the summer, yes, but those few pounds are nothing-they are in fact very little, somewhere between 2-3 pounds as far as I can determine. Have I noticed? A little.

Do I care? No.

Again, no. I can lose a few pounds but a few doesn't do anything. A few is a pittance in comparison to where I have to be by the end of this thing.

What's the end goal? Simply put, I want to drop 60 pounds before I turn 23. Is this realistic? Probably not, I'm no weight loss expert-I'm not an expert in anything other than being stubborn. As I figure it, I have essentially 2 months and roughly 3 weeks to get to this goal.

I currently weight 266 pounds, which taking into account my age, my height, and my general disposition, is bad. Really, really, really, bad. So join me in shaking my head and going "He's doomed" but don't write me off yet. There's a reason all this is in a note, people.

Simply put? Accountability.

"But, wait, why tell us? Why take the risk that, if this fails, we'll be aware of it and so will all the internet? Nothing on the internet is safe, why make things harder for yourself?"

Good questions all around, and the answer is, again, simple. I can't fail. This is a "Failure is not an option" type of deal, folks. I have to succeed or spend the rest of my life in misery. Not complete misery, but enough of a misery to make a difference.

This is why it has to be here. Not on some random blog, out in cyberspace, where I know no one and care not to inform anyone I do know. I need accountability, and I need the hanging guillotine of failure over my head. I need that and this is why it's going on Facebook and why this will only be accessible to those I call friend. Perhaps, in the future, when I've made some progress I'll let everyone see it-I don't know. I just know that, for now and for the immediate future, this has to be here. It makes sense to my insane mind and I'm going to do it. 

So, I'm asking for your help, whatever you're willing to provide.

I will be posting a new note weekly, detailing what I've done and how I feel, and what my weight is. It'll serve as a sort of marker for me, assuming I get far enough to to look back.

And I would like as many of you who care to read, to do so. Read, comment, do whatever-just make sure I know you got eyes on this. Keeping me on my toes and accountable will be a huge help to me.

Other than that...that's it. My weight, once again, is 266. By my birthday, October 13th, I want to be down to at least 206.

I'm done being heavy or fat or chubby or whatever you want to call it. It can't continue. And so, it must change.

I must change.

And perhaps, at the end of the day, that will be the hardest thing; changing me.

So, thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope you continue to check back weekly to see the new notes.

God Bless.

***
My Weight Loss: Week 1 Report
by Zach Johnson on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 10:11am ·
It's been a week since my declaration of independence...from bad food and bad habits. It has not been an easy week, I'll grant you-resiting the urge to splurge on some Taco Bell has been difficult; I do like me some poorly made Mexican food, lol.

But let's get right to the point, shall we? You're not here to read my ruminations on things, you're here to see what progress or lack of progress I've made.

Weight Last Week: 266 pounds

Weight Today: 259 pounds

Total Loss: 7 pounds

7 pounds in one week is the end result. Good food choices, combined with exercise allowed me to hit that. It was quite a surprise for me-I had estimated no more than 5 pounds, tops. 7 pounds makes my goal of losing 60 by October 13th look doable.

But I don't expect 7 pounds in a week to be the norm-at the moment, I'm chalking this up to my long lost metabolism finally showing life again. If that's the case, I don't expect this pattern to hold once my body readjusts to actually having a metabolism. We'll see how it goes.

But the specifics of the matter are that my exercise program and my good food choices-which contributed much more to the loss I believe than anything-has allowed the 7 pounds to come off.

That's not to say it was easy. My exercise regiment make me tired and I can hardly stay up past midnight anymore, where used to I could last easily to 2AM with little trouble. The removal of sugar from my diet, a constant staple since...oh, I don't know, birth...has also been a shock to the system. Not only that, but actually having to think about what food to eat rather than grabbing what looks good takes up a lot of time-compared to just grabbing stuff anyway.

Also, I've noticed during the week, my mental faculties also seem a bit down-this I attribute to the tiredness and the system adjustment to life without sugar. I figure it'll take longer than a week to get my brain back to full power, but it's noticeable to me how things just run a little slower than normal operations.

At the end of the day, it'll all be worth it I'm sure-as of now, it's merely getting there that's the main priority.

At any rate, that's this week's entry. 7 pounds down, 53 more to go, and work to be done ahead. As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned next week for any entry. Any comments, suggestions, or otherwise are welcome.

God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 2 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 10:49am ·
Week 2 was not an easy week folks for a number of reasons. But I'll get to the details of it later-right now, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 259

Weight Today: 256

Total Loss: 10 pounds

This week was a bit of a disappointment for me, despite knowing that the 7 pounds per week thing was a fluke. I was pretty sure it was and it turned it out it might have been; the jury is still out on it but I'm thinking guilty is going to be the verdict.

But what was the difference this past week as opposed to the one before? Why did I only lose 3 pounds as opposed to 7?

My exercise routine fell through early in the week; there was rain, a day when I felt horrible, and then a day I took off to get my wind back. Three days just gone where I did no exercise; I did still eat right however. The results were slow and sad. Suffice it to say it pissed me off to no end. That didn't change when last weekend rolled around; I was needed around the house more and thusly working out got put on the backburner.

So it wasn't until Monday of this week that I finally got back to my routine, and even then that was a very light workout.

But it wasn't all a waste. I had noticed that my concrete block lifts had gotten way too easy-did some research and took some advice, and increased the concrete block weight by a good bit. It made a big difference on Wednesday, when I tried the new routine out; the day before I had walked quite a bit and Wednesday I made sure to lift something pretty heavy.

The blocks were heavy and I barely got 10 lifts in before my body was like "No more, mercy!" and I agreed.

Yesterday I went to a lake and swam/played there for about three hours-it was quite a good workout. Resulted in some serious sunburns (spray on sunscreen fail) but it was still worth it, for the results of this morning proved it. Three days of working out and two pounds dropped-as opposed to the one pound dropped over the course of doing no workouts for days on ends.

I chalk this up as more evidence to support my theory that, at least for me, the diet and the workout are equally important-one without the other slows the results significantly. At the end of this week, only 3 pounds were dropped, and I'm a bit letdown by that-but it was still pounds lost. More than that, it means I've dropped 10 pounds in two weeks and that's good.

I still have 50 pounds to go but the number is dwindling by the day. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's entry. As always, any comments, advice, suggestions, or otherwise are welcome. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 3 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, August 19, 2011 at 2:14pm ·
This week was a rebound one for me; I feel like it makes up for some of last week's disappointment. But before we get to the details, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 256

Weight Today: 251

Total Loss: 15 pounds

This week was pretty good I think. As opposed to last week, where my exercise routine fell to the basement, this week I kept my routine going strong-I only took Monday off and I feel that day was a bit of a setback; didn't make the wisest of food choices Monday and didn't get my exercise in, but it was a day where I had little choice; the situation required me to step up and so I did. It was no big deal at the end of the week, as the results prove. I still feel if I had at least eaten well on Monday I could be here with 6 pounds down as opposed to 5, but oh well-it was still a good week.

My concrete block lifts are still rather difficult-three concrete blocks on one long 2x4 are really tough to lift, folks, and they still are. I've mixed in some light cardio on my lift days and I think that's helped a bit too. My eating habits were pretty good this week and I've gotten into a nice lunch routine of meat and cheese; it's basic, but it works well. Dinner has a healthy amount of vegetables and meat to it on most nights and that's helped tremendously too. It also helps that I don't cook it, lol; I'm lucky enough to have a friend to help me out there.

As the weekend approaches I look forward to continuing the workout routine. Surprisingly, I look forward to the workout on most days; it's a nice way to relieve stress and clear the mind, which I desperately need cause my mind is always cluttered with junk, as most of you know.

And apparently, I look "smaller" according to a trusted source. I can only imagine that was a compliment...I think, lol. At any rate, it's nice someone's noticed; the physical changes aren't exactly readily apparent, but I've noticed some previously tight clothes becoming somewhat looser, some to the point that I can pull off rather easily without undoing the buttons-so, that's something, right?

At any rate, I'm down 15 pounds and there are still 45 more to go; but I'm pleased with this week's results after the debacle that was last week. If I can keep pace of 5 or more pounds lost during a given week, by the time my birthday hits, I'll be pretty close to my goal.

As always, any and all comments, advice, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for next week’s entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 4 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 2:00pm ·
I was pretty pleased with this week's results but before we get to the details, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 251

Weight Today: 245

Total Loss: 21 pounds

Lost 6 pounds in a week, almost on par with my 7 pound first week wonder. This week was all about smart choices and sticking to the routine, even through rain. Sunday was a big test day for me; the weather stunk and so I used that day as my day off. However, due to the bad weather, the house lost power; we had to go out to eat and, of course, it was going to be a Chinese buffet. 

For those that have had the honor of seeing me hit up a Chinese buffet before, you know that I can pretty much beast it if I so desire. I love pretty much all the breaded food, from the chicken to the Chinese donuts, and boy this buffet had that and more-even apple pie. It was a land of temptation galore and it was tough sticking to eating things that weren't breaded.

But I came out of there victorious and that seemed to embolden me as the week went on. The exercise routine was pretty consistent all week, even yesterday where rain nearly derailed it; the ground was soaked and by the end of the exercise, my feet were soaked too-it was a good thing I decided to wear thick socks. This week has been great in terms of the amount of exercise I've been able to get done, but this coming weekend will be difficult to keep the routine going, as a hurricane approaches and I doubt I'll be able to get out for my usual workout. I'll have to develop a strategy for bad weather days sometime in the near future. 

Food choices were good all week-even had a small bit of chocolate and that didn't impact me at all from what I can tell. Major props to my friend for their continuing help in this endeavor via cooking and support. Also want to extend thanks to those of you who continue to comment/like/and more on these notes, as it's a nice reminder that other folks are with me.

I'm down 21 pounds, a wee bit ahead of schedule. I have another 39 pounds to go before my B-day hits. Keeping the routine and pace are important and I think I've done well with that-let's see if I can keep up the pace.

As always, any and all comments, advice, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 5 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, September 2, 2011 at 3:41pm ·
Well, it's been a week where things have turned out better than hoped for, but the details can wait; here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 245

Weight Today: 239

Total Loss: 27 pounds

This week I again lost 6 pounds, but the mark was reached by some seriously odd methods. Saturday through Tuesday, I was down by only a pound, and seriously disturbed by that. My appetite had taken a huge hit-I was literally not hungry for about anything and I was suffering from a serious lack of sleep. I was entertaining some pretty wild theories by this point, but primarily I stuck to the one that made the most sense to me; simply put, my lack of sleep was causing my body to hang onto every scrap of anything it had, thusly preventing any weight loss.

The solution? I went to bed at like, 6:30 PM Tuesday night. I slept like the dead and when I awoke the next morning, I was happy to find myself down 2 pounds. I got back to my workout routine Wednesday, went to be early again, and find myself down another pound Thursday morning. I resumed a regular meal schedule by that time and worked out, and found myself down 2 pounds again this morning. So, in the course of three days, I lost 5 pounds.

Is this a method I suggest anyone ever using? No way. Lack of sleep combined with lack of appetite is a horrible way to go about this. I'm trying to get myself back into a decent sleep schedule and eating schedule, so as not to repeat this again, cause it wasn't fun.

The keys to this week was...well, pretty much nothing, except keeping the faith; days on end without results really breeds a lot of doubt and man, did I come close to just caving a few times and throwing the whole thing out the window, but I didn't; primarily because I've already come this far and the diet, combined with exercise, is working. It's gotten great results and to just toss that out at the first sign of trouble...that's a hasty action. Secondly, I do have my various peeps on facebook to answer to, so quitting this isn't really an option.

It's been a rough week in terms of sleep and energy levels, but the results speak for themselves. I again want to extend my thanks for the support from you folks and my cooking friend. You guys have been great.

I'm down 27 pounds, and there's 33 pounds left to go before the Bday hits. I'm a bit ahead of schedule, and hopefully that will keep going. As always, any and all comments, advice, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for next week's entry. God Bless. 
***
My Weight Loss: Week 6 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 1:22pm ·
It has not been the week I was hoping for on a number of fronts but that's primarily because of self-inflicted wounds (figuratively speaking) more than anything. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 239

Weight Today: 238

Total Loss: 28 pounds

This week was not a good one and the results speak for themselves on that front folks, but it's not entirely the fault of the week-it's my fault more than anything. With football season starting up in full swing last Saturday, I decided to try a new weight loss strategy, one that seemed to work for a lot of people; put simply, eat right and don't force yourself to exercise every day-in fact, skip serious exercise all together. Now, to any football fan this seems like a Godsend and I bought into it because it seemed that it worked for a lot of other people.

Unfortunately, as many of you know, I don't fall into the category of "normal" in any sense of the word and this backfired majorly. I did drop a pound over the weekend but that's the only pound I managed to drop all week long-my weight pretty much held steady at 238, disappointingly to me. This week also marked me being somewhat sick over Monday and Tuesday, so that played a part in this as well.

The end result? The experiment of "do nothing, eat right, lose weight" seems to have tremendously failed me. Not only that, but I have no idea how this has affected my metabolism, nonexistent as it is; I may have reset it back into "slower than a glacier on a frozen planet in a galaxy without heat" mode and, if that's the case, this could mark a serious setback. So, to say I'm not pleased is an understatement.

But the strategy has worked for others and I hoped it would work for me; as much as I enjoy the exercise, let's face it, no one really loves it-it's tiring, it's exhausting, and losing weight without doing it sounded like a golden ticket. Too bad my ticket seemed to be made out of lead instead of gold. 

This week also marked a setback in my sleep schedule-it's gotten all screwy again, which I did to myself for most of these days, and I fell into some bad habits that appear around football season-primarily staying up really late to watch games that don't really matter and getting behind on a number of things in the name of the game I so love. Football season may not be conducive to weight loss...we'll see.

Nonetheless, I'm determined not to let this week set the tone for the month; I can make this up if I redouble my efforts and as such, I'll be resuming the workout routine today with renewed vigor. Still, I'm mightily disappointed about this week. I was hoping for a minimum of 3 pounds lost and instead I merely got 1. The scale mocks me and that's frustrating to no end. If I must be exhausted to lose weight, so be it-it's a small price to pay for a healthier lifestyle.

I'm down 28 pounds and there are still 32 pounds to go. As always, any and all comments, advice, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for next week's (hopefully more productive) entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 7 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, September 16, 2011 at 1:43pm ·
This week has turned out better than I originally thought. Towards the end things really picked up but the details can wait. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 238

Weight Today: 233

Total Weight Loss: 33 pounds

This week was a much better week than last week; I resumed my workout routine and adjusted my food intake to get things moving. And move they did after a few days which I'm glad to report. I lost 5 pounds this week going back to what works and I'm glad it did work; I was worried it wouldn't and earlier in the week it was looking like my worries might have been justified.

However, that promptly changed by the time we got to the middle of the week and the pounds started coming off once more. But the strategy that I've been employing this week-eat less, workout more, and get plenty of sleep-is unsustainable as far as the meals go. I can't skip meals and eat nothing all day forever; my appetite has been nonexistent this week but as of now, it's pretty much back in full force-I didn't have much for lunch and that was by design, so I'd actually eat dinner, which I haven't eaten all week (apologies to the cook have been expressed numerous times).

It's just been a matter of me not being hungry for dinner for this week and I think that's because my standard lunch for this week-when I've eaten lunch-has been ham and cheese. It's not the meat that's sticking to my bones, so to speak, but the cheese; it sticks around and doesn't make me hungry for dinner. By eliminating the cheese from the equation today and substituting in some grapes, I've discovered my appetite again-I'm actually quite hungry now, lol.

At any rate, I want to get back to a regular eating schedule and see if I can get my carb intake up-it's actually really, really low on a daily basis and I'm gonna try to get it up to what is referred to as the "weight loss sweet spot." I'll try this out next week and see what results I can get-I'm not entirely sure what results to expect. I'm hoping at least 5 pounds will drop off but we'll see.

I'm down 33 pounds and have another 27 pounds to go. As always, any and all comments, advice, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 8 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:26pm ·
Yesh, what a week. But the details can wait-here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 233

Weight Today: 230

Total Weight Loss: 36 pounds

This week has been tough, primarily due to my lack of sleep-I have not slept well all week long and even now, am battling to stay awake. But the lack of sleep was only partially a cause of this week's lack of results. 3 pounds is nice, but not what I needed-preferable another five would have been good, just to get me below the 230 mark. As it stands, I'm at the 230 mark, and things will likely get tougher from here.

The lack of sleep has just wrecked me mentally and physically. Focus, attention span, energy, and reflexes are down. I can't seem to get more than 6 hours of sleep a night and that's a concern. Why this is taking place is an unknown; I'm betting the weather changes are part of the reason but whether they're the real culprit or merely an accomplice isn't clear.

I'm chalking up the small weight loss number to this past weekend where I made the attempt to get my carb intake up-that nearly backfired in my face. Over the weekend I gained back two pounds and by Monday I weighed in at 235. Now, this has been attributed to water weight, simply because a lot of the foods I ate over the weekend were salt heavy-that's all well and good, but it was a setback early in the week that, combined with the lack of sleep, made things far more difficult than it should have been.

Nonetheless, I managed to shed those two pounds and get back down to 233 by Wednesday, then upped the intensity of the workouts Wednesday and Thursday to shed the next 3 pounds. To say I'm tired is a bit of an understatement but I wasn't going to be defeated again by the scale-I shed 3 pounds, nothing to sneeze at but certainly not something worth celebrating in my mind.

At any rate, it seems that the upping the carb intake experiment is on an indefinite hold. I'm not sold that's the solution for me-maybe I just don't need it, who knows, but until I see some issues crop up with my low carb intake, I won't be repeating the mistakes of this past weekend-I can ill afford another setback. The high amount of carbs over the weekend may also play a part in my lack of sleep over the course of this week. In any case, the variable has to be eliminated from this process else another setback occurs.

Now, the end result of this week is that I'm a behind-again-but not too bad off. I only have another 24 pounds to go before I hit my goal-this can be achieved in 5-7 weeks at most, and if I get a good few weeks in, maybe even in 4 weeks, who knows. At any rate, I'm close. So close I can smell it.

I'm down 36 pounds and I have another 24 to go. As always, any and all comments, advice, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 9 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 12:48pm ·
This week has been better-got plenty of sleep and have eaten well. But the details can wait; here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 230

Weight Today: 226

Total Weight Loss: 40 pounds

I've quite enjoyed this week on a number of fronts, primarily the weight loss-I was close to cracking five pounds for this week but alas, I'll take four. Also got my bowling ball and some new (old) clothes. The clothes fit and actually are a bit loose, which is a nice benefit of this whole weight loss thing.

Another thing I've enjoyed about this week is my new found ability to cook breakfast; bacon and eggs really and I've been doing this every other day or so. It's been quite enjoyable and though I made some rookie mistakes, overall it's been fun. Bacon and eggs make a nice meal to start the day off with.

On the exercise front, I've added in trampoline running to counteract the rainy days we've had around here over the recent week. The trampoline is a mini one, so it's easy to use inside and is okay for bouncing as long as you don't bounce too high. I've found the trampoline running to easily compliment my other exercises.

Other than that, there's really not much to report this week; I've lost four pounds, 40 pounds overall, and I have another 20 to go. Over the weekend I'll continue to try and make smart choices (especially during the Bama-Florida game...I'm gonna be a wreck, lol) and hopefully when Monday rolls around I'll be on my way to starting the week off right.

As always, any and all advice, comments, suggestions, ect, are welcome. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 10 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 12:56pm ·
This week was a wee bit of a disappointment but overall, turned out well I think. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 226

Weight Today: 223

Total Weight Loss: 43 pounds

This week started off pretty well. Over the weekend I lost 2 pounds and I was pretty enthused, thinking that this week would be one where I overshot the mark; yet, I was stuck on 224 till this morning. Days on end stuck on the same weight is annoying and frustrating and I was getting to the point of cracking my scale open, destroying it, and spitting on it's proverbial grave.

I tried pretty much everything. I ate less, I exercised more, I pushed myself, but it all came down to yesterday; I had to go hard yesterday and I did. I increased my heavy lifting regiment and it paid results this morning; I was down to 223. I celebrated this momentous occasion by making myself some eggs and sausage. It was quite a filling brunch.

Anyway, I'm a bit disappointed with this week; it started off well and kinda stalled out, but I managed to get down that last pound to hit my mark of 3 pounds lost during the week. Would I like to have lost 4? Yeah but it didn't happen.

Also, this week marks the last one before the week of my birthday and sadly, I am not at the mark I set at the beginning of this journey-I wanted to be down 60 pounds by the time my birthday hit and that's just not going to happen. Losing 17 pounds in a week is not doable as much as I wish it were. But I am down 43 pounds in 10 weeks and that's nothing to sneeze at; in fact it's been far better than most people probably would have predicted.

Next week, in celebration of my birthday and the drawing ever closer of the completion of my weight loss goal, I'll detail exactly what changes I've seen and felt; that and more. I'm down 43 pounds and I have 17 pounds to go. As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 11 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 1:57pm ·
This week was my birthday week so I expected it to be a bit of a disappointment. Instead, it was pretty much like last week. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 223

Weight Today: 220

Total Weigh Loss: 46 pounds

This week being my birthday week, I knew I was going to slack and slack I did. I worked out only once all week and that was it. This week was less about results and more about me enjoying myself, I fully admit that, and enjoy myself I did. I bowled, I ate great cheesecake, and enjoyed good company. Was I happy to lose three pounds? Sure. Could I have lost more? Absolutely. I hope I don't regret this as a missed week but we'll see in the future.

My sleep schedule has also been whack this week and I'm feeling it today.

But this note is less about the week and more about the overall process. I'm 11 weeks into my weight loss and so far, I'm doing pretty well in my mind. I've lost 46 pounds and I've been told I look smaller, look better, and look healthier. All these things I agree with; I feel better and I feel healthier. The initial shock to my system has long since passed and I've adjusted.

At the moment, I'm back down to a large/x large shirt size, the first time I can say that in years. More than anything, my favorite part of this is the fact that I can now actually button my camo jackets (those of you who know me know how I love to wear those things, yet they were my father's-a much smaller man than I.) I can actually button them now and not look like a fool walking around in a jacket way too small for me.

As for my pants, I'm not sure what to make of it; stuff slides off me and even now, with pants I just got two weeks ago that fit well, they're sliding off of me too. The pants I have on now are like a 38 waist, so I guess I need to bump down to a 36 or hope someone has a 37 somewhere (doubtful).

One of the more surprising things I've discovered about this process is how the weight loss has affected what limited jewelery I wear. My watch slides off my wrist constantly; I have to wear it pretty high on my arm to get it to stay. My class ring, which I haven't worn consistently in years, doesn't fit on the finger it was fitted for-it falls off. I've had to move it to my index finger where it fits comfortably. I didn't expect that at all. 

The physical changes are also a bit of a surprise to me as well. I am quite smaller than when I started this process almost three months before. I still got a bit of a gut (it's going to take a lot of work to say goodbye to that) and thunder thighs still lives, but those parts of me are smaller. I'll take that victory. My heavy lifting workouts have also provided me with a stronger upper chest I think and my face is not quite the giant baby face it was when I got here; still a bit baby face but then I've always had one, so I don't know if there's really anyway to change that. Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure I'm thinner than I have been in at least 6-7 years.

Overall, the process has worked great for me and I will strive to continue it. Once I hit my 60 pound goal I'm thinking I'm going to keep going; the allure of being under 200 is great but that's in the future.

I've lost 46 pounds and I have 14 more to go. As always, any and all suggestions, comments, ect. are welcome. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week's entry. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 12 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 12:50pm ·
This week I got back aboard the workout train mostly; only took two days off. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 220

Weight Today: 217

Total Weight Loss: 49 pounds

Another three pounds down but man, I was close to four. It was frustrating early in the week as the weight just wouldn't come off. I kept at it and finally, things started to go my way. This week overall has been frustrating on a number of levels but at least the weight came off, right?

At any rate I'm pleased with the progress of this week and there's not much more to report than that. I thought this week was going to be a major pain but it's turned out to be fine. I'm still a good 11 pounds away from my goal and I'm so close I can taste it. As always, any and all comments, suggestion, ect are welcome. Stay tuned for next week and thanks for reading. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss: Week 13 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, October 28, 2011 at 11:16am ·
Yikes, it's been a rough week. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 217

Weight Today: 205

Total Loss: 61 pounds

I have been sick as a dog for most of this past week and as you can see, it's affected the weight loss dramatically. A lot of time spent on my knees cursing my toilet (it has yet to really do anything) and keeping food/liquid down has been difficult. Despite this week being quite rough on me from multiple standpoints, the end result is that I've met my goal-I have lost 60 pounds; just don't pop the champagne yet. I'm sure that once I actually get back to eating food again (and keeping it down) that I'll put some of the weight lost back on, so I'm not calling this.

At any rate, the week has not been a good one; you could say I was a bit blindsided by it. Over the weekend I kept up the workout routine and ate well, progress was being made, and I was happy. But by Monday things began to devolve, Tuesday they got worse, and by Wednesday I was dead on sick. This was not how I wanted to reach my goal as most of you can imagine.

My week has mostly been spent sleeping, drinking liquids, and avoiding food at all costs (surefire way to make me super ill). That's primarily why I'm posting this note now as opposed to my usual time; I'm tired. I'm going to be taking a nap once this thing is posted and that's pretty much been how my week has gone. Lots of naps. 

Today I'm feeling better than I have the past two days and I'm hoping that's a sign things are looking up for me. I'm down 61 pounds (for now) and have reached my goal (also for now). As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect, are welcome, so please feel free to leave them. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next weeks report. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Introduction
by Zach Johnson on Monday, January 2, 2012 at 5:01pm ·
For those of you that have been following, you know that July 25th, 2011, I made a declaration of independence from an unhealthy lifestyle; one full of junk food, late nights, and no exercise at all. I weighed 266 then and barely fit into my 2XL shirts and size 40 jeans. It wasn't pretty; in fact, it was rather ugly...but I finally got the point after many years that I needed a major change. I said that I wanted to be down 60 pounds by my birthday (Oct. 13th) and though I didn't make that, I did make my goal by the end of October (through sickness, but I made it).

I made that change and now I weigh 199, I wear size 34 pants and large shirts (close to a medium but not quite there), and I'm in the best shape I've been in in well over seven to eight years. I feel good. I've been told I look good (I still can't believe that) and generally I'm in good shape. My original mark has been met...but it's not over yet.

Now, for those that know me you know I like things in threes. Three and I have a long, long history. I could spend all day telling you how three has played a large part in my life, but suffice it to say, I like the number. I tend to do things in threes. And this is no different...at least at this point anyway.

When I originally set out on this journey, I thought for sure I was doomed for failure. Sure, I can talk a big game-anyone who knows me knows I like to talk a lot. Following up that talk was difficult for me; a lot of time I was all bluster and no muster. So, when I said I was going to lose 60 pounds I was pretty doubtful; sure, I was sold on the idea enough thanks to a spectacular example provided by a dear friend, but was I sold on it enough to bet everything on it? To go as far as guarantee it? Not really.

But I took the plunge anyway. I asked all of you, my facebook friends, to keep me on my toes; to help keep me accountable and you did that brilliantly. Without you folks, I would not be here today, that's a fact, so give yourselves a pat on the back.

But don't call it over just yet. I've hit my originally goal, and now surpassed it. But I want more. I think I can do more and I'm going to do more.

So welcome to Part II of My Weight Loss. I'll declare now that by the end of this I want to be down to 180; that's a big mark for me, a huge milestone. Why? Simply put, because I haven't been 180 in ten years; a full decade folks. When I was 13 I was a big kid...I was 180, looked like I had been raised in a Twinkies factory and had never known any other food besides junk food. Why do I remember this? That was the year I got my first military ID. It was a big moment for an Air Force brat like me...but the moment was overshadowed by stepping on the scale and seeing how large I was.

Then imagine having that put on a card, lamented, and know that it will forever be in military records (because the military keeps everything). That's what that was for me. It was not a fun day for me...but I got over it. I figured I'd thin out like I'd seen some of my friends do. I didn't.

Which is why when I hit 180-yes, I said when, not if-then it'll be huge for me; because it will mark the first time in a decade that I've weighed that. Now, that's not to say I haven't hit huge milestones already in this journey, because I have. I broke 200 today. I managed to reach my goal of losing 60 pounds. Those were huge, but they aren't the biggest. 

That's not to say 180 is the biggest goal either. It's second biggest. What's the biggest? Why, getting below 180...landing somewhere in the 170s/160s range. Based on my height I should be, max around 175. I don't know how easily 180 will come; it'll likely be a tougher, possibly longer road than the journey to 206. But I'm willing and ready to make that trip. I want to make that trip.

Because I know I can do it now. It's rather empowering to realize that you have it in you to make the right choices and do the right things when it comes to food and exercise. I know I can do it. I've done it before. And now I'm going to do it again.

So, this is what Part II comes down to. I want to be down to 180 by the time mid-March arrives at the latest; I think that I can make the mark long before that but I'm allowing a wide margin for error, simply because I don't know what happens from here as getting down to 180 may be far more difficult than I imagine.

That's my goal though, 180. If I don't make it by mid-March, I'll be disappointed, but I'll keep plowing on. Point is, I want it done and I plan on doing it.

But once again my facebook friends, I need your help. I'll be posting updates once a week on Friday, as I did before, and I want you guys to help keep me accountable once more. A simple comment, a like, a sentence on my wall, whatever works for you, I'll take. Any comments, suggestions, criticisms, concerns, and more are welcome.

Today, I'm 199. By mid-March at the latest, I want to be 180.

God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 1 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 10:02am ·
Weight Last Week: 200

Weight Today: 196

Total Loss: 70 pounds


This week has been, overall, a good one. I finally broke 200 on Monday and that was huge. Since then, I perhaps took one too many victory laps food wise but I suppose I deserved a little leeway. But I've finally gotten back in my zone. How have I done this?

It's taken awhile to readjust my eating habits after the holidays but I managed it. Breakfast is pretty much nonexistent for me now; I know, it seems like a mortal sin not to eat breakfast but if I'm hungry for it I just have some yogurt. That's it. I can make it on yogurt till lunch and that's where I do my damage during the day. I fix myself up some meat product (sometimes ham and cheese wraps, but often grilled chicken chunks-those chunks are great and healthy for you) and I enjoy that with a side of vegetables or fruit or something else; just a side with some carbs in it, not a lot, but some.

Lunch is my big meal of the day and after it I usually know whether I ate enough or too much. These past few days I've eaten too much, which is why I've been stuck on 196 the past two days. My brother made some really, really, great cookies a few days ago and I've been jumping off the bandwagon for them. I love those things and they are singularly responsible for me being stuck on 196. 

Usually, I'd eat a minimal dinner; my rule of thumb is pretty simple. If I'm hungry for dinner, I eat half of a serving. Now, for those of you that live in the Deep South like me you know that a Southern serving is really, really, NOT a serving; it's more like two. So, I've learned to half the servings and it's helped.

But these past two days I've skipped dinner. Primarily because I jumped off the bandwagon so hard at lunch (for cookies!). Overcompensating? Yeah, I'll admit, it's likely. In truth, I wasn't really that hungry but I could have eaten dinner. Yesterday I doubled up my workouts, hoping the extra exercise would help power me past 196 and undo the damage from lunch. That plan did not work. I'm still on 196.

My workouts this week have been all about variety. Usually I stick to one or two things; previously, during my initial goal of getting to 206, I did two things; I ran and I lifted weights. It worked well enough for me and I wanted to continue that during this next phase of my weight loss.

But I've discovered the art of play. I still run but now I'm working basketball, football, and the various Wii games into my routine. It's a nice change up and it's produced results. I still want to continue my weight lifting exercises (hard to find concrete blocks, an empty stage in the middle of an unused field, and a 2x4; I may need to invest in real weights) but what I have now is working.

Overall, I'm satisfied with this week. I started out 200 on Saturday/Sunday, and now I'm at 196. Would I like to have been at 195? No doubt. I sabotaged myself with those darn cookies but that won't be an issue this weekend (they've all been eaten, HA! Not by me but I did eat a lot). I want to use this weekend to drop down to 195 and start next week strong. I'd like to be at 190 by next weekend, but that seems a stretch.

As always, I welcome any and all comments, suggestions, criticisms, and more. I'm down 70 pounds and I have 16 more to go to hit 180. Thanks for reading and God bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 2 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 11:10am ·
This week was tougher than I thought it was going to be but here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 196

Weight Today: 192

Total Loss: 74 pounds


This was a tough week, folks. I started off strong this past weekend and by Monday I was at 194. Cracking that wasn't so tough, but 193 was a pain to get past.

The weekend was full of temptations for me. Playoff football usually means really bad foods are available, so my choice of chips, nachos, and plenty of other things were there. My favorite football player (Tim Tebow, former Florida Gator, Heisman winner, and two-time National Champ) was playing against the Steelers and was I ever worried. As we all know, worry doesn't usually mix well with food choices; when you worry you go for the comfort food as opposed to the healthy food.

Yet, I managed to keep my head clear enough to avoid most of the bad stuff. I kept to my workout schedule over the weekend and Monday I was pleasantly surprised to be 194. That was great, in my mind, cause I had a huge head start on the week and I could conceivably get up to five, maybe even six pounds lost, if I had a string of good days. Tuesday rolls along and I'm at 194 still but I'm close; I'm pleased though not overly so. Wednesday hits and I'm finally 193; three pounds down, two to go to get back to five.

But sadly that's where I hit my first roadblock for the week. You see, Wednesday was my oldest little brother's birthday (and if he had a facebook I would have flooded it with birthday wishes) and for his birthday he wanted poundcake. So, poundcake was made.

Poundcake is amazing, just so you know, and in a previous life (as in nearly 6 months ago) I would have gladly partaken in many slices, some with vanilla ice cream on the side. Sadly, that was in a previous life...but I wanted one slice and so I had it. 

I'm not going to blame the poundcake all the way, but I should have known better. Since I've gotten healthier and gone primal, my body has become pretty sensitive to sugary stuff. Not in the sense that it causes me any pain or anything like that, but in the sense that it adversely affects the scale during the weigh ins. And it did Thursday morning. I was still stuck on 193 and I was bummed about it.

So, I went about my usual lunch routine but in my bummed out state fell to the poundcake yet again. It was going fast. It was calling to me. I gave in, this time cutting myself a smaller piece, hoping the damage would be minimized.

Not so much. The scale once again read 193 this morning and I decided to break my usual mantra (working out in the afternoon) and instead did it before lunch. The results were happily what I wanted; I had hit 192, just barely. I will be 192 tomorrow, so it doesn't give me a head start on the week ahead, but it did allow me to achieve this week's goal, of four pounds lost.

This week, workout wise, I stuck to my usual routine of running/jogging and football/basketball. However, I added in some Wii fun (Just Dance 2-and yes, I'm not great at it but it's fun and gets the heart rate up) and that I think helped make a difference while also allowing me to do really embarrassing dance moves in the comfort of my own living room. You will likely never see any video footage of me playing that game, but suffice it to say, I'm sure you'd get a laugh if you did.

Anyway, that was this week in a nutshell. It started off well, hit a few bumps, but managed to finish strong. As always, any and all comments, suggestions, criticisms, ect are welcome. I'm down 74 pounds and I have 12 to go to hit 180. Thanks for reading and God Bless. 
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 3 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, January 20, 2012 at 12:33pm ·
Weight Last Week: 192

Weight Today: 189

Total Loss: 77 pounds


This week not quite up to par for me; I wanted four pounds lost and instead only got three. Now, that's a downer, and I'm a bit disappointed, but it's my fault. This past weekend I overindulged, falling to the classic weakness of tortilla chips and salsa. Then, this week, I feel to pudding; I love me some pudding. Those three days essentially prevented me from getting that last pound but it's not all bad.

I still broke 190. I'm now back in the 180s for the first time in a decade. So, that's something to celebrate.

My eating this week has been spotty. Sometimes I can swing three meals a day, sometimes one, and one day this week (Sunday) I just fasted to help offset the poor Saturday I had. The food this week has been pretty much the same, as per my routine; grilled chicken, some vegetable, and some green tea for lunch; dinner is always a toss up but often times is all right.

My workout schedule has been pretty consistent and I'm actually pleased to report that my running/jogging is progressing. I'm now up to about 7 laps, not my previous mark of 10 laps (which I was able to do prior to me getting ill) but I'm feeling faster when I run. I'm going to be taking up bike riding soon (once I get the proper gear for this weather) and I look forward to that as well.

Overall, I feel pretty good about this week. I've noticed, probably for the first time, how noticeable thinner I am. Even my shadow looks better (like it cares, lol) but it's still cool to see.

I'm at 189 and I still have 9 pounds till I hit my goal of 180. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading, stayed tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 4 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10:17am ·
This week was good for me, no doubt of that. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 189

Weight Today: 185

Total Loss: 81 pounds


I wanted four pounds lost this week and I got it. Unlike last week, where things didn't go well for me towards the end, this week was fairly consistent in terms of food choices and workouts. I did some things this week that were new, like working out in the morning, which is what I did yesterday.

Yesterday, the weather was pretty bad. The night before I had broken from my usual water/green tea to have some diet grape juice. This diet grape juice negatively affected the weigh in yesterday morning and I was not pleased. I mean, seriously, it's diet grape juice! It's supposed to be good for you!

So, yesterday morning I went and I did a short run, took about 35 minutes. The morning workout was new for me and I found it was actually quite difficult without much food in me. I was pretty tired after but when I came back I was pleased with things. My only workout this week has been running as I'm trying to get my time up and get myself faster. I'm happy to report that I was able to get myself a bit faster.

Food wise, this week hasn't been all that exciting. I'm sticking to meat, cheese, and vegetables, finding my success there and seeing no reason to change things up. I did branch out a bit and go back to an old favorite of mine, hot dogs. Green tea and water continue to be the drinks of choice (diet grape juice is banned forever).

I am now down 81 pounds, and I'm close to hitting my goal of 180 (well before March). As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 5 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 10:41am ·
This week has been a disappointment admittedly, but the details can wait; here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 185

Weight Today: 183

Total Loss: 83 pounds


This week was not a fun one. After I hit 185 on last Friday, I got stuck on that number for the weekend and the first two days of this week. Nothing seemed to work to get past the number until I cut back on the carbs and went for a 7 mile bike ride on Tuesday; that finally broke 185, getting me to 184.

This week has been particularly frustrating on a lot of fronts but the weight loss (or lack there of) was the one that frustrated me the most. I'm not sure why this week things got stuck; I didn't radically change any of my habits or meal compositions and my workout schedule remained relatively the same.

My only conclusion is that my body became used to the routine of it all and stopped responding to the usual stuff. This has happened a few times before in this over six month weight loss and it's taken an adjustment to get past it. I think that I've found that adjustment by cutting back on the carbs and upping the intensity of the workout.

I was sure that I wouldn't lose more than a pound this week though; yesterday I was majorly bummed about losing only a pound and I pretty much conceded the day. I ate badly to make myself feel better which, of course, only made me feel worse, and then I guilted myself into playing football...with myself (I run, throw ball, run to ball, run, throw ball, rinse and repeat for 45 minutes). Surprisingly, the workout provided huge results and this morning I was happy to see I was at 183.

So, now, sitting at 183, I want to start this weekend strong; preferably with a pound or two down. I really, really want to break 180 next week (hitting my mark and weighing less than I have in over 10 years). That's next week's goal though.

Despite the disappointment I have in this week, it wasn't a complete waste. I've finally managed to get into a shirt I've never been able to wear (an old church shirt from 2004. Does anyone from FBCW remember E2W4C-Endeavoring to Witness for Christ) and that's been great. I also took a picture of myself this week for FB and I've found that my face looks a bit thinner to my eyes than it did nearly a month ago. I'll take another picture a month from now and see how things look.

So, all that said, I am down 83 pounds and I have another 3 to go to hit 180, and another 4 to break it. I really, really want to break it this week. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Stay tuned and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 6 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, February 10, 2012 at 10:56am ·
This week was a great week in a lot of ways but the details can wait. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 183

Weight Today: 178

Total Loss: 88 pounds


Well, Ive done it. I've broken through 180 and I now weigh less than I have in over a decade. I'm actually on the fringe of where my weight should be based on my height (it should be 175 max) and I'm really doing good. How did I achieve this after last week's debacle?

Well, I did what I hate doing; I changed up my routine on a lot of fronts. I figured my body had gotten used to everything and frankly, so had I. It was all basic, elementary stuff for me at this point and I needed a shake up in the worse way. So, I made the first big change which was to make breakfast, rather than lunch, my primary meal of the day. It was quite a shock to the system as you can imagine eating earlier and eating the food I was; bacon, eggs, oatmeal, and a tall glass of milk did indeed make a wonderful breakfast.

I started that on Monday. Sunday I fasted, as per my usual standard (a little fasting can help kickstart things and it helped majorly this week) and Monday I began eating breakfast in earnest again for the first time in months. The results were quite good; my body seemed to like having food in it earlier as it gave it more time to digest it during the day before the workout.

Speaking of the workout, I also changed that up; whereas I'd usually alternate between various things like running, football, basketball, and bike riding, I decided to stick with one workout and I chose football. It's an odd sight seeing someone throw a football, run after it, and throw it back, but that's what I did for my workout time of 45 minutes and again, the results were good.

Lunch was optional; some days I had it, like Wednesday, while others I didn't, like yesterday. It really is dependent on a lot of things but I found it freeing not to have to put everything on lunch; sometimes breakfast was big enough to let me skip lunch and sometimes not.

Also, I've been experimenting this past week with body position; I've noticed that when I lay flat on my stomach to go on my computer, watch TV, ect, that my pulse seems to go up. My heartrate increases while I'm on my stomach as opposed to just me sitting per usual. I've worked that in, alternating between laying flat on my stomach, legs usually in the air, and sitting as I usually do. That's seemed to help things but it could just be me thinking it does.

My sleep schedule has also been better this week as now I'm finding it easier to fall asleep before 1AM. Some nights it takes longer, but most of the time I'm out like a light by 12:30AM or 12:00AM. My energy levels haven't improved vastly, mind you, but I do notice the difference though it's really just a small one.

And that's basically what's changed. I can wear size 32 jeans now with relative ease and that's quite nice as I haven't been able to wear size 32 jeans in many, many years.

But before I conclude this note, I want to make a special mention about my scale. Last night it gave up the ghost and passed from this world. Yeah, I know, it's an inanimate object and it doesn't really matter in the end but to me it does; I'm a bit of a sentimentalist (okay, a major sentimentalist) and the death of my scale is a sad event for me.

That scale goes back to the very beginning of this entire process, way back in late July of last year, nearly 7 months ago. I bought that thing for 40 dollars at Target and even though my friend wanted me to use their scale, I had a history of killing scales. Like my aunt kills cars, I kill scales. I figured if one was going to die on me it might as well be one I bought by myself. It marked the first scale I had every bought for myself actually.

Oh, sure, we had our fights. I've made mention of it now and again in my notes about how some days it doesn't tell me what I want, about how some days it wouldn't cooperate, but we had a mutual respect for one another. I should have figured the end was near anyway; it was telling me all good things this past week, very much against the grain of the usual give/take we had.

But it's gone now. I guess it got stepped on one too many times. I've changed out the batteries, I've fiddled with it, but it just sits there, unwilling to come on. I had to use my mother's old scale to get my surprise reading of 178 this morning; I didn't work out yesterday as I was pretty wore out from the day before and that decision seems to have paid off. Still, I'm going to miss my scale. It was my first scale. It was here from the very beginning and now it's gone. It was there with me for 87 pounds, lasting nearly 7 months, and for that I will always remember it. Maybe I'll frame it or something, as weird as that sounds...it deserves to be honored in some way.

I'm 178 now and rather than start a new batch of notes, I'm just going to keep going with these. My original goal was 180-I am now shifting that down to 170. So, I now have 8 pounds to go before I hit 170 and achieve something I've never been able to achieve before in my memory; I will be at a healthy weight for the first time since I was a kid when I hit 170.

As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect are welcome. Stay tuned for next week's update and thanks for reading. God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 7 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, February 17, 2012 at 10:13am ·
This week...well, it was what it was. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 178

Weight Today: 177

Total Loss: 89 pounds


Now, one can look at the raw numbers and be disappointed; I only lost a pound this week after last week's five pound wonder. A bit of a downer? Maybe. I could simply say that there were other factors that prevented me from doing much this week but the fact is, quite simply, that I didn't try this week.

After last week's wonder, I was pretty much exhausted by the time the weekend arrived. I wanted a break. I wanted to just not worry about it and so that's what I did. Lame? Totally, I'll grant that, it's lame. But I needed the break and I took it.

There were other factors, of course, that aided in my poor showing this week. I kinda messed up my knee over the weekend which made it hard to run/jog and so I was reduced to walking for most of the week, which didn't do a lot. Even if my knee hadn't been messed up I doubt I would have had the motivation to really workout hard anyway.

Now, I could be disappointed in myself, and I am a little bit. Frankly though, this week, I'm just glad I lost a pound at all. I didn't think I would really. I've been told my many in the past that a loss of 1-2 pounds a week is healthy and normal. Well, this week, I am healthy and normal (sort of).

So, that's pretty much the breakdown. This next week I'm going to try and get my mojo back, so to speak, but I've gotten past 180 and 170 isn't far, only 7 pounds to go for that. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 8 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, February 24, 2012 at 10:44am ·
This week has been...interesting, to say the least. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 177

Weight Today: 173

Total Loss: 93 pounds


Well, after last week's lack of effort on my part and disappointment because of that, this week I hopped aboard the workout express once again but not without some bumps. Sunday, I found myself confronted with one of my worst enemies (not my brother's dog)...a Chinese Buffet.

The Chinese Buffet is a major, major weakness of mine. There's just so much fried junk there that it makes it hard to avoid; not to mention the fortune cookies which are always good to eat (at least to me) so this was another test, perhaps the biggest one of this week. I was planning to fast on Sunday as I usual do (a good fasting helps clean the system, gets the week going in the right direction I've found) but when confronted with a Chinese Buffet...well, what's a guy to do?

I basically conceded the day. There was no way I could get away without some damage from the buffet, but I did my best to minimize it. I only had a plate and a half, drank water, and made sure to do the best I could. Still, I felt like I had lost the day by the time we got home, I crashed for a nap, woke up late, went to bed early, and was sure Monday morning was going to be miserable.

And then, to my surprise, I weighed in at 176. Color me surprised (purple is the color of surprised as decided by me and a dude who remembers the original Father of the Bride-not the Steve Martin version). Monday was also a spectacularly gorgeous day and so I hit my workout (running) hard, with intensity and some joy. The results the next day were also pleasing-175. By Tuesday I was already down two pounds, twice as much as the week before.

But, I hit a bit of a snafu Tuesday and Wednesday and that snafu-stress. Stress is a killer folks. Stress not only sucks, not only causes the body to go wacko, but also negatively effects weight loss. Why was I stressed? I could throw out about a dozen reasons that would make sense and get the response "well, that's understandable" but the truth is I was stressed because I was worried.

A friend of mine was going through some serious surgery on Thursday morning (she came out of it fine, the surgery was a success, and she's recovering now) and I was stressing big time. My mind was obsessing over worst case scenarios, I wasn't sleeping too well, and no amount of working out and eating less was making a dent in anything. By Thursday morning, I was still stuck on 175 and still worried as news had not yet come down if things went well with my friend.

So...stressed, worried, and sleep deprived (I got about 4 hours of sleep Wednesday night/Thursday morning), I threw my hands up and decided to fast. I didn't do it Sunday, I felt like I needed to clear the system (or as I like to call it, clear the cache ;) ) and reset. So, I fasted Thursday.

Word came down around noon that everything was fine with my friend, I felt immediately better, but I still stuck to fasting simply because a loss of two pounds in a week wasn't acceptable to me. I wanted a minimum of three pounds and I wanted the day to be over so I could get to Friday, get to the weigh in, and figure out what I needed to do.

Thursday was a long, long, long day. I don't know what it is about not eating that seems to make the day go by so slowly (perhaps because the brain itself is running slow?) but I was tired, I was fasting, and I was worried that this week would be yet another disappointment. I mean, sure, I'm at the point where my weight loss SHOULD slow down but I don't want it too; I'm so, so close to hitting my goal, and it's just within reach.

So, I slogged through Thursday, I went to bed at 9:30PM and slept like a rock. I mean, I slept for a solid 10-11 hours, so I figured I lost some weight in transition and to my surprise I weighed in at 173. I didn't expect two pounds to drop off during sleep and for sure I was happy. I busted out some Edwin Starr (War-why? Not sure, but it sounded good), did a quick thumbs up to myself in the mirror, and set out to celebrate with some bacon and eggs.

They were good bacon and eggs.

So, that's it for this week. Interesting on a lot of levels, stressful on a lot more, but at the end of the week good on virtually all fronts (friend's surgery went well, I lost four pounds, and more).

And I'm at 173. I'm almost, almost at 170. I can smell it. I'm in position to get to it this coming week.

I've lost 93 pounds overall, I've got another three to go to hit 170 (and three more after that to hit the buffer zone of 167) and I'm ready to hit the ever so mythical, seemingly unachievable, maintenance mode. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 9 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 9:43am ·
Well, this week started out poorly but was redeemed towards the end.l Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 173

Weight Today: 170

Total Loss: 96 pounds


Well, this week has been a tough one. Monday things started out pretty well, as I was down to 172, but the day just spiraled out of control and ended poorly. Tuesday rolls around and things again start out well-I'm down to 171 and I feel as though things are going good.

But, that wouldn't last; I ate a little too much and Wednesday morning I was back up to 172. I was quite down about that and the week by that point had been tough, and I crashed off the wagon hard. I mean, really, really hard. I pigged out on chips, cookies, ect, and overate like a dog.

Part of the problem was how close I was getting to hitting 170, which I am at today. 170, sadly, isn't good enough anymore because-officially-I'm 5'7. All this time I've been rolling under the assumption that I'm 5'8, but I'm actually 5'7 and a half. Half an inch stands between me and being 5'8. Based on my height 170 is not where I need to be but actually 165 is where I need to be.

Being told that really, really, pissed me off; I mean, let's face it, half an inch equates to 5 pounds? I hated the idea of it...I was so close to hitting 170, so close to getting into the mythical maintenance mode, so close to finally being able to say "I've done it!" and...like so much in this process, my victory has been delayed once again.

So, I needed to hit 165 and I was just kind of mad about that. Which is why I crashed and burned on Wednesday, why I fell off the wagon onto a rocky cliff, why I just didn't really care.

At least not immediately. I felt horrible a few hours after, forced myself to workout, prayed that I actually made some progress and yesterday morning...well, I  was at 173. So, to do the math, I hit a low of 171 on Tuesday, screwed up two days in a row, and ended up 173 yesterday morning. I was not pleased.

It was a self-inflicted wound though. I decided to fast yesterday, simply because I had eaten so much that I wasn't hungry anyway. The fasting, combined with a fasted workout (that was fun-not) made huge progress and this morning I sit at 170. So, thank the lord for that.

So, I need to hit 165 (and probably a pound or two lower as a buffer), and I have about two weeks left before spring break-I can hit 165 before spring break I think. I'm down 96 pounds and I have another 5 to go. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss Part II: Week 10 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 10:14am ·
Well, this week has been one of experimentation, so the results aren't mind blowing; here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 170

Weight Today: 168

Total Loss: 98 pounds


All right, the bottom line is deceiving here, as it basically says I only lost two pounds over the course of the week. This is true, I did only lose two pounds, but what I gained was knowledge. The past few weeks, as I'm sure you've noticed, the weight loss has not been entirely consistent. This week I went about determining what part of my diet needed adjustment, what changes needed to be made, and I think I discovered that.

Primarily, it looks like I wasn't getting enough protein; on the days I did get a lot of protein results were better than the days I got less. I've been abusing breakfast (read, oatmeal, I love you) for the past few weeks and I need to cut back on that, and I did this week.

With that now in effect, I think I should be able to lose the last of these pounds and get to my goal of 165.

The workouts this week have been pretty standard, minus the sweatfest that was Wednesday; yardwork for over two hours in 70+ degree weather is a great way to get a great workout. Spring approaches and the weather is getting warmer; admittedly, I think we've completly missed winter here in Alabama (much to my dislike) but with Spring coming the workouts should show more results. Sweat is good.

Other than that, I'm three pounds away from hitting my goal of 165. Once that is hit, I'll be embarking on Phase II (Star Trek reference-you know what I mean ;) ) of this and that would be the sculpting part. As I've explained to a few people before, losing the weight is the easy the part. Like all great sculptors, knocking off the big chunks is simple; sculpting the little details in is going to be the tough part.

Over the past few weeks my upper chest area has thinned out a bit, to the point where I can see my ribs and my collar bone for the first time...ever. It's quite cool to flex and watch as my skin moves over my bones (okay, maybe more creepy than cool). At any rate, I need to begin lifting weights once I hit 165.

Then of course there are the main problem areas that need work, my stomach (it resembles a flat tire, just kinda hanging there) and my thunder thighs (how they're still there is beyond me). I'll be looking into various workouts that emphasize those areas but you can't spot lose. I wish you could, but the research (not to mention the experience of others) says that you can't spot lose. It comes off where it comes off. 

So, I'm looking forward to that. Until then, I'm down to 168, I have three pounds to go, and progress is continuing. As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless folks.
***
My Weight Loss II: Week 11 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, March 16, 2012 at 10:34am ·
Man, this week was so close to being a beast one but I just couldn't break through. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 168

Weight Today: 166

Total Loss: 100 pounds


Well, this week I only managed to lose two pounds, yet again. It's been a disappointing few weeks for me as results seem to be tapering off. I thought last week I had nailed down what I needed to do to really accelerate the process but I just couldn't get past 166. Is that a bad thing? Maybe. It means I'm approaching the point where changes are, once again, going to have to be made.

I fully expect to be 165 by the time the weekend is over so I'll go ahead and lay out what comes after here. Now, I originally set this thing to stop at 206, than 180, than 170, and now 165. I've hit everything so far but these have been weight based goals. Sadly, years of damage done to my body by overeating and horrible choices can't be undone by shedding weight alone.

So, I'm beginning preparation to shift things to my new goals. What are those? To get leaner and stronger. Specifically, I want to get my body fat percentage down. Right now it's hovering around 23% and that's still a bit high; my BF percentage needs to be around 14%-17%. I want to get rid of the last remaining bit of 266 and above me, the gut.

You all know what I'm talking about, it's the defining characteristic of any fat guy. Sure, you have the chubby cheeks and the thunder thighs, but a fat guy is judged by the size of his gut. The gut is the last bit of "the fat guy" version of me. I want it gone. I want it way gone.

I had an extensive discussion with a dear friend of mine last night about how my mind hasn't quite caught up to my body; I'm still stuck in "fat guy mentality" she says and you know what, it's true. I still see myself as the fat guy and I don't quite know how to get rid of that. I do know how to make it less of an issue though and that's to get rid of the gut.

The gut has been a constant companion throughout most of my life. I want it no longer. If I could chop it off and give it away, I'd do it. However that would likely lead to a lot of blood loss and other things. I've been researching for the last two weeks or so on how to attack this new goal. How do I get leaner and get rid of the gut?

It's been a question that's resulted in some unsatisfactory answers. Most of this gut is loose skin from what people tell me. Some have said that it'll take maybe a year or two to trim the gut to the point it's gone. Others have said weeks or months. Suggestions have ranged from surgery to going bodybuilder.

At the end of the day I'm going to have to go about this as I see fit, as I did my weight loss. So, with all that said and done my strategy is my own. I going to be shifting my diet to one high in protein and one focusing more on strength training and less on cardio. More so I'm going to implement alternate day fasting because the research I've read seems to show it's benefits as opposed to it's perceived consequences. 

Now, I know a lot of people think that fasting for more than a day during the week is akin to going into psycho anorexic zone. I have been accused of this, deservedly so, a few times in my weight loss journey. I take things to extremes and a lot of people know this. I won't deny any of that.

However, the benefits of alternate day fasting seems to outweigh any of the negatives. And the beauty of it is that it's an every other day thing. I can build my workout schedule around this, my eating schedule around this, and make things easy for me. I like routines and so this appeals to me, naturally.

Cutting down the BF percentage and getting leaner should also once again aid in the weight loss but I don't have any real goal as far as that number goes. I just want to stay 165 and under; I don't know what cutting down the body fat percentage is going to do weight wise. I want to set a new goal and just say I want to weigh 150, but I want the focus to be on the BF percentage and the elimination of the gut, not the weight. My doctor said 175 was a good place to stop (LOL, yeah right doc...good try).

Focusing on the BF percentage (currently hovering around 23%) and getting leaner (I want to be in that Medium shirt, not stuck in a large because of my gut!) are my two primary goals. The weight loss...well, let it happen as it happens (hey it only took nearly 8 months for me to get to that point...).

How long am I going to give myself to accomplish this? Not a year. Not two. Not that long. I want to take the next four months, leading up to my one year anniversary of the beginning of my weight loss journey, to get leaner, get rid of the gut, and make a conscious effort not to drown in the numbers (which I do a lot).

As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect are welcome. I'm 166, soon to be 165, down 100 pounds, and the work is not done yet. But I'm ready to continue on. Thanks for reading, thanks for the support, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 1 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:55pm ·
And now we find ourselves at Part III of My Weight Loss, where the focus shifts from just straight weight loss to getting leaner, getting stronger, and losing the last of the gut. This also means factoring in new stats, so here's what we have for this week.

Weight Last Week: 166

Weight Today: 162

Body Fat Last Week: 37 lbs/23%

Body Fat This Week: 35.2 lbs/21.8%

BMI Last Week: 25.6

BMI This Week: 24.8


All right, we've added two new stats into the equation, Body Mass Index (AKA BMI) and Body Fat. These two are going to be key in determining, at least from a numbers standpoint, how I'm doing in my attempt to lean out. Now, as I laid out last week, I'm setting July 25th, 2012, as my date to get lean; this gives me 4 months essentially to continue to lose weight, lean out, and get stronger.

This week started off late, as I was pretty ill from overdoing it on cheesecake Friday night. As such, Saturday and Sunday were recovery days, while Monday was a heavy cardio day. Tuesday is where I began my new emphasis on strength training and high protein meals.

The results, I must say, were quite impressive. I didn't expect to lose the weight I did this week and I certainly didn't expect to make such a dent in the Body Fat stat on only a few days time. My new strength training regiment really concentrates on four things; pushups, pullups, squats, and planks. Tuesday I did a lot of wall pushups and quite a few squats. The burn was there for sure as I was dead sore on Wednesday.

Wednesday I took the day off, fasted, and did some minimal housework to keep the juices flowing but otherwise didn't really strain myself. I'm trying to fast more often than just once a week in order to encourage the body to burn more fat. I was going to fast today but I made myself some donuts (they are SOOO good) and kinda overdid it on them, so I'll fast tomorrow, which works out fine for me.

Thursday I was still a bit sore from Tuesday, but I did do some more wall pushups and concentrated on pullups, doing quite a few chair assisted ones; I am sadly too weak to really do a true pullup but I'll get there eventually.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how this week turned out workout wise.

In terms of diet, my high protein meals consist of chicken, pork, and whatever other meat I can find. I've cut dairy and starch veggies out of the equation as both seem to slow down the loss of body fat; we'll see if they get added back in. The meals are pretty simple, pretty filling, and quite good for getting rid of leftovers (yum!).

And that's it for this week's report. The raw stats, as you can see, support that I'm making headway. I hope to continue this in the coming weeks as I have plenty of time before my self-imposed deadline (July 25, 2012) to get leaner, get stronger, and get rid of the gut. As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 2 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 8:09am ·
This week I was on vacation so I expected the results to be pretty bad and instead things are basically the same. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 162

Weight Today: 162

Body Fat Last Week: 35.2 lbs/21.8%

Body Fat This Week: 35.3 lbs/21.9%

BMI Last Week: 24.8

BMI This Week: 24.9


So, there we have it. Everything is basically the same minus a VERY slight increase in BF and BMI which I'm not fussing over a bit. Admittedly, I am a bit disappointed that I didn't make much a dent in anything this week but, frankly, I wasn't really trying. I just wanted to keep things more or less the same as last week and that's what happened.

The big news this week is that I can now wear Medium sized shirts and size 30 jeans; I am thrilled beyond belief at that as I've never been able to wear either. I skipped right past medium and size 30 jeans so being able to shrink into them is a huge thing for me.

As for strength, I think I'm making progress, slowly though, put progress. I was able to do quite a few pushups a few nights back (probably in poor form but I did them nonetheless) and I generally feel good about things. Still, the gut remains and that's my biggest enemy at this point.

Fitting into a Medium size shirt, a tank top too, is a big thing but it doesn't help my swimsuit body or lack there of. Admittedly, I'm not looking for a six pack, just the disappearance of the gut that just hangs there. I think progress is being made on that front but I don't expect to see results for another few weeks at the earliest. 

As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 3 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 8:38am ·
This week I made some progress on a few fronts and I think I may have even gained some muscle mass; the details can wait though, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 162

Weight Today: 159

Body Fat Last Week: 35.3 lbs/21.9%

Body Fat This Week: 33.6 lbs/21.1%

BMI Last Week: 24.9

BMI This Week: 24.5


The raw numbers look good this week. I broke through into the 150s yesterday and maintained that today, so the 160s are now officially a thing of the past. I'm not looking to lose anymore per say, but if I were to get down to 153 or so, I'd be fine with it. I'm well within my range anyway and supposedly, my ideal weight is 153-155 so keeping things in that range sounds like a good idea.

The better news is with my Body Fat and BMI; both ticked up just slightly last week but came down majorly this week, particularly my Body Fat which is nearly two pounds less than it was last week. I like seeing that kind of progress. Both those scores getting lower is a good sign that I'm making progress.


That's all for this week.  Stay tuned, God Bless, and thanks for reading.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 4 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 9:22am ·
This week I made some progress late and the results looked good. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 159

Weight Today: 157

Body Fat Last Week: 33.6 lbs/21.1%

Body Fat This Week: 32.6 lbs/20.7%

BMI Last Week: 24.5

BMI This Week: 24.2


This week was one where I didn't think I'd see a lot of progress. Last weekend was Easter and, as we all know, it's a great weekend for food. I did all right during last weekend but the Easter leftovers plagued me all week long. It's hard to resist those for me. My weight actually spiked up a bit during the week and not until Wednesday was I back at 159.

Yesterday, in a desperate last second bit to make some progress, I decided to fast and do a major workout. The results were quite good as you can see. This week's results were really results based on two days, not seven, lol.

As we look at the raw numbers my body fat dropped another pound and my BMI is down by three tenths. Those are decent numbers but the real results lie elsewhere. I'm now able to bat out two sets of 50 wall pushups fairly easily, whereas in the beginning doing a set of 30 was difficult. I feel stronger and though I still struggle to do even one pullup, I think the pushup progress is a good sign.

Visually, the gut shrinks. It's smaller than it was when I started this four weeks back and it's affecting my shirt size. Whereas medium shirts were standard for me only a few weeks ago, it looks like I'm moving into small territory. Yesterday, just for giggles, I threw on my 14 year old brother's small shirt and it fit oddly enough. It looked pretty decent and I'm kinda excited by that.

Luckily, based on the advice given by a dear friend of mine when this process started last July, I haven't invested in a new wardrobe extensively. So before I start buying a plethora of new medium shirts (which are a pain to find anyway) I'll wait and see if I can stay in smalls.

As I now sit at 157, I'm getting closer to approaching my ideal weight (based on my height, gender, age) of 153-155. Again, this wasn't really the goal here and it's a nice bonus.

The better stat I'm excited about is the body fat percentage. It's now in the 20s and hopefully will be in the teens next week, which will be a huge milestone in my mind.

As always, thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 5 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 9:05am ·
Well, this week was once again where I saw action late as opposed to early, but overall I consider it a well balanced effort. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 157

Weight Today: 155

Body Fat Last Week: 32.6 lbs/20.7%

Body Fat This Week: 31.2 lbs/20.1%

BMI Last Week: 24.2

BMI This Week: 23.9


Looking at the raw numbers we see a few things here. One, that my weight continues to drop and now sits at 155 pounds, a resounding 111 pounds less than I was when I first started this last July. That's a nice number but the more important number is the body fat, which dropped 1.4 pounds this week. My BF percentage is also nearly in the teens, bringing me closer to my goal of 14% body fat. Also, my BMI is now officially in the 23s so that's another thing to celebrate.

Early in the week I was sitting at 156 and I just kinda sat there for the majority of the week, the scale refusing to budge much, but yesterday I decided to do a fast and that seems to have once again gotten things moving. Fasting is a great way to break a stall, a lesson I learn often in this process.

As far as foods go, this week was the grand experimentation with smoothies. I used to be quite the milkshake/smoothie enthusiast back in the day but they became just too much effort to make so I stopped. I picked it back up this week with mostly good results. Banana's, strawberries, and watermelon are a smashing combination, along with a few other ingredients to help make it thick. I was very much in love with the smoothie but darn it all if the things just don't keep you full; both days I invested heavily in the smoothies as my one meal, I broke down late and ate some serious food because I was starving.

Smoothies apparently have a limited fulfillment time. I've decided more experimentation is needed but I'll have to wait awhile, as seeing I've used a lot of my fruit available to me in my smoothie rampage, lol.

As far as workouts go, this week was relatively conservative. Some easy cardio, lawn mowing, and manual labor (putting up signs) was pretty much it. The rainy days that happened this week were not pleasing to me as they kept me inside and kept me away from doing the blasted lawn (which I finally managed to get done yesterday). Nevertheless, progress can be reported on the chin up front as it's becoming easier to do them. I can just about do two or three before my arms give out and beg for mercy.

That's about it for this week. As always, any and all comments, suggestions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 6 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:06am ·
This week wasn't what I was hoping but I managed to undo most of the damage by the end. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 155

Weight Today: 155

Body Fat Last Week: 31.2 lbs/20.1%

Body Fat This Week: 31.6 lbs/20.6%

BMI Last Week: 23.9

BMI This Week: 24.0


As you can see there was a slight uptick across the board, minus the overall weight. The week just didn't start out well for me eating wise. I ate very poorly over the weekend and then by the time Monday hit, I was in a tailspin. By the time Wednesday came along, I was back up to 160 (say what?!) and was in a bad, bad way.

But I buckled down, worked out majorly on Wednesday with a long run, and then fasted yesterday to get back down to where I should have been overall weight wise. Despite that, I still didn't undo all the damage done over the week and I have to own up to that. I gained back a bit of body fat and and my BMI of course went up slightly. Despite my poor performance this week it's not all bad news. 

I screwed up majorly in terms of food choices but I was able to recover and recover quickly, which shows me that I still have the ability to shed those excess pounds if I really put my mind to it. Over the last few weeks I was wondering whether I still could knock down four or five pounds in a week and if this week proved anything, it's that I can.

I'm happy about that but overall disappointed in this week and the setback it represents. It's not a big setback mind you but still a setback nonetheless. Despite that, I'm far more prepared to push it hard this week to offset this past week's failure and I look forward to reporting success next week.

As always, any and all comments are welcome. Stay tuned, God Bless, and thanks for reading.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 7 Report
by Zach Johnson on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 1:36pm ·
Apologies for being a day late posting this, but I was busy yesterday and flat out forgot. This week was a good one, with some valuable lessons learned and some really good progress. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 155

Weight Today: 153

Body Fat Last Week: 31.6 lbs/20.6%

Body Fat This Week: 30.2 lbs/19.6%

BMI Last Week: 24.0

BMI This Week: 23.6


Big, big progress this week. Not only did I manage to shed some pounds but more importantly I got my BF% down below 20 for the first time ever. I'm now sitting pretty at 19.6% BF and I'm pretty happy about that. Getting below 20% BF has been tough, but I made it.

Now, I'm only 5-6% away from hitting my goal of 14% BF. I'm thrilled about that and I have about three more months before I hit my self-imposed deadline of July 25th to meet this goal.

This week I learned some valuable lessons and here they are, in no particular order:

1. The body has made this a permanent adjustment. Last week I overdid it and this week I was concerned that it would be incredibly tough to get back on track. Instead, I found that my body actually PREFERRED to eat clean, and healthy, as opposed to last week where I ate quite poorly. My face was breaking out all last week in zits and junk, but this week has been pretty clean. 

2. Pizza is horrible. I had some this week and by the time the morning arrived, I was in such misery. I was hurting BAD and that basically confirms that I can't eat it anymore. The past few times I've ventured into pizza territory I attributed the misery in the mornings to other things I'd eaten; instead it seems the pizza is the main cause. I can't eat it anymore, it makes me physically ill, and that's a lesson learned.

3. I'm down 113 pounds...and I'm actually proud of that. Every since this journey began and the pounds lost kept being added on to, people have been encouraging me to be proud of what I've done. It's tough for me to do that simply because it's an easy path from "being proud" to "egotistical SOB" for me. Throughout this journey I've been especially careful about being proud but I have to say...I am quite proud right now. I've lost an entire adult person (I know a few who don't even weigh 113 pounds).

4. The flipside of being that proud...fear. It's quite scary to realize that I have in fact lost an entire adult person because that just shows how utterly horrible I was before. This time last year I was in the 270s, not far from 300, and I didn't really care. I could pound pizza, soda, and chips in a manner that most people would probably find sickening. It was bad...and to think that I was like that, that I was that close to being one of those people who was so huge that I would need a freakin' scooter to move around on...that's scary.

What's even more fear inducing is the idea that it could happen again. Mind you, it's only an idea, not something I consider a true possibility, but the idea still remains. Throughout this process there have been some who believe that the way I eat, the way I function, can't be sustained. That if I stop or have a bad couple of days, I'll fall off the wagon and start gaining back the weight.

That won't happen. I'll die first, I tell you that. There can be no going back. As recent weeks have proven, a few bad days doesn't equate to an insurmountable amount of damage. My body has made the changes necessary to adapt; things work so much better for me now than they ever did before. Just because I don't eat bread, drink sugary drinks, and avoid bad stuff doesn't mean it's unsustainable. It's actually quite easy.

Still, the fear is there and that constant reminder will serve as a driving force.

That's as far as those lessons go. My eating this week has followed the same basic pattern, meat, veggies, and the occasional fruit smoothie. Exercise for this week continues to focus on walking and other low intensity things with the occasional high intensity day. 

Also, I made all my weight loss notes available to the public; anyone with a facebook can see them now. All my weight loss notes from this point on will be available to the public as well so if you're looking for some motivation for yourself or your friends, or just something to kill time with, give it a read. Pass it on. If I can do it, anyone can...seriously.

As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 8 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, May 11, 2012 at 10:17am ·
This week, not nearly the progress I wanted. Despite that, there were lessons learned and observations made. First, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 153

Weight Today: 153

Body Fat Last Week: 30.2 lbs/19.6%

Body Fat This Week: 29.8 lbs/19.5%

BMI Last Week: 23.6

BMI This Week: 23.5


All right, as we see, the numbers are slightly down. It's really not even worth mentioning how down they are but it's progress, small as it is. This week taught me a few things, some you'd think quite obvious. But I'm oblivious to the obvious, as most of you know ;)

1. Pizza-in any form-is bad for me. Now, you'd think with the self-inflicted wounds in my recent past from pizza I'd stay away from it but Wednesday night my mom tried to make some low-fat, low carb pizza. Okay, I'll try anything once (a policy I'm beginning to regret) and I had one of these low-fat pizza's. Only one. Fast forward to 10:30PM and I'm feeling horrible.

You ever feel like you have a golf ball sitting in the middle of your chest? That's what it felt like. I thought for sure that I was going to find myself kneeling before the porcelain God (for the fourth time in five months thanks to pizza) but before I conceded that, I decided to go outside for a walk. It was dark, it was cool, and I had a well lit parking lot right in front of my house. So, I walked and after the first five minutes the feeling of intense nausea passed. Thirty minutes later I was feeling much better. Lesson learned-pizza is bad for me and is permanently banned. Walking can prevent puking my guts out.

2. Sleep...majorly important. You'd think I'd know this by now too but this lesson has been driven home once more. After Wednesday night's near debacle, I hardly got any sleep. Probably less than seven hours and Wednesday I worked out hardcore with strength training. So, when I woke up Thursday, I felt sore as heck...everything hurt. Thursday was going to be a long day and it was a fast day, so I was not in the best of moods. I was running slow every which way and I had to go a few hours without wearing my glasses (sure to give me a headache like no other). It was rough. I had been getting great sleep all week up to that point.

Sleep has once again proven to me how key it is not only for weight loss but also for proper body function. Now, everybody join in and say "DUH!" because seriously, I should know this by now.

3. As a country, we're really unhealthy. If you didn't see this article, please give it a read. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47337275/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/#.T60qBLQ56Vo

To basically summarize the thing, by 2030 42% of American adults will be classified as obese. Let that number sink it and realize that, already, over a third of American adults are obese and children aren't far behind. This is, in my mind, a huge issue (no pun intended). Yet, it doesn't seem many people care. In fact, it just kinda slides away.

Probably because people are tired of hearing about it. This has been preached for a few decades now and yet, it doesn't seem to be doing much good. Speaking as someone who, this time last year, was classified as severely obese (over 100 pounds overweight) and didn't care, I get it.

But we need to start caring. If not for ourselves, than for the kids. Do you realize how many chubby kids are running around now? Seriously, look around at places you're commonly at. You see a lot of chubby kids running around, don't you? I was at a soccer banquet last night for my brother and I was amazed on a few fronts.

One, people were putting down platefuls of spaghetti at a quick pace, with sides of bread, and cake for dessert. Two, when it was all said and done, after the banquet had ended, some of these same people were taking back leftovers of spaghetti and bread home. They were taking back sodas and cakes too.

But the third thing that I was amazed at, and not in a good way, was how many chubby kids there were who were diving into this food with reckless abandon. The parents seemed fine with it. Okay, fine; parents, if you're fine with how you eat and you're fine with how you look, more power to you.

But don't stick your children on this path at such a young age. Come on, show some mercy. Being the fat kid is no fun and having to go through the embarrassment of an ever expanding wardrobe is horrifying. Read up on health news, look at the trends, cut back on the sugary drinks and pasta nights...help the kids out. Don't doom the next generation.

That's it for this week. Hopefully, next week I'll have some more progress to show. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Stay tuned, God bless, and have a great weekend.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 9 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 11:16am ·
This week was one where I either found the secret to this entire thing or just lucked out. Either way, the progress was major in all areas and I'm quite pleased with the results. The details can wait however, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 153

Weight Today: 148

Body Fat Last Week: 29.8 lbs/19.6%

Body Fat This Week: 26.4 lbs/17.9%

BMI Last Week: 23.5

BMI This Week: 22.7


As you can see, the raw numbers are pretty cool. My weight has dropped five straight pounds since last week, which is nice, but more importantly my Body Fat has dropped over three pounds this past week which is HUGE in my mind. My BMI has likewise dropped and I'm down nearly a full point in that as well.

Further, this week has shown noticeable-at least to me-changes to the body. The gut, specifically the drape area (where the sad, sagging skin hangs) has grown smaller and is less visually disturbing then it was before. I noticed this earlier in the week to my surprise, seeing as how the gut is incredibly stubborn and has refused to budge. Also, I discovered an unintended area of change, my thighs-they're smaller than they were a few weeks back.

Seeing these visual changes emboldened me as the week went along.

What exactly did I do this week? That's where this really becomes interesting. As far as dedicated exercising went, very little. I played basketball one day, did the lawn another, and did some strength training. That's it. The other days of the week I hardly did much of anything except house chores and sitting around.

Yet the weight still came off. The key to this, I think, was eating clean. I ate so, so clean this week for the most part, easily 90% clean eating. I kept to the things that worked and stayed away from the crap foods. I didn't allow myself much of anything except cookies-I had a few of those, probably too many, but they were a worthy cheat.

It was told to me, many months back (in September if I recall) that the weight could come off like that without dedicated exercise, without any real trying; I tested that theory and it resulted in a pound loss over a week. That was it. So, I gave it up figuring it just wasn't for me. I'm thinking I may have to reexamine that theory.My body is radically different than it was in September and perhaps now I'm at that point, where I don't have to try really hard.

At any rate, this week has been a serious boost to my confidence and my faith has, once again, been rewarded for sticking to my guns about this thing. If I didn't get results this week I would not have been pleased.

Overall, this puts me down 118 pounds from July 25th of last year. That's a big number and it kinds floors me how easily I forget about that. But next week should result in some more progress though I doubt I'll see five pounds.

More importantly, I'm nearing that ever elusive goal of 14% Body Fat. Now sitting at 17.9%, and with the visual changes to my gut and thighs, the idea that at 14% Body Fat I'll see the gut start disappearing doesn't seem so farfetched as it was last week. I'm looking forward to hitting that goal and where we go from there, we'll see.

As always, any and all comments, suggestions, questions, ect are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned for next week's report, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 10 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:15pm ·
This week was not like last week-things were slow till the end and my frustration has reached a high. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 148

Weight Today: 146

Body Fat Last Week: 26.4 lbs/17.9%

Body Fat This Week: 25.3 lbs/17.4%

BMI Last Week: 22.7

BMI This Week: 22.4


So this week only resulted in a overall weight loss of two pounds and a Body Fat loss of only a pound. It was a frustrating week overall-over the weekend I messed up and ate poorly. Fine, no biggie, I'll just fast down and reset. So I fasted Monday and only got back to 148. Over the week I painted, mowed the lawn, ran, played football, I worked out like a dog in this 90+ degree Alabama heat and you know what?

I only got down another two pounds and I honestly felt lousy about it the entire week. It was just one of those things where my frustration was at an all time high; after last week's great success I end up dropping only two pounds-and one pound of Body Fat-this week? Ludicrous.

More importantly I ran the numbers and, by my calculations, I'll have to hit 137 at least to get close to 14% Body Fat, assuming the rate of Body Fat loss holds. Losing down to 137 to hit 14% Body Fat and kill the gut seems like a lifetime away. Now, I can hit that number-I know how to do it, I know the buttons to push, but I'm tired. 

So, I'm taking this weekend off. No more daily weigh-ins, no more constant calculations, I'm just going to enjoy the weekend and decide whether or not 14% Body Fat is really worth all the effort. As much as I would like to see the gut gone the fact is a lot of it is loose skin and that's not guaranteed to go away with this. 

That's it for this week's report. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Stay tuned, God Bless, and have a good weekend folks.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 12 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 10:37am ·
All right, so there wasn't a week 11 report but I'll explain why later. The bottom line is this;

Weight Two Weeks Ago: 146

Weight Today: 146

Body Fat Two Weeks Ago: 25.3 lbs/17.4%

Body Fat This Week: 25.9 lbs/17.7%

BMI Two Weeks Ago: 22.4

BMI This Week: 22.5


So, as we see, there are slight upticks all across the board. That's not a big deal and the reason why is simple; I pretty much fell off the wagon last week and go back on it this week.

Why did I fall off the wagon? I was tired. In my desperate bid for 14% Body Fat and the elimination of the gut, I wore myself out. I was stressing over the food, the exercise, and pretty much everything else. So, memorial day weekend, I took the gloves off and had me a ball food wise.

I ate utter and complete crap that week. Last week, I could have easily found a way to post a report but I knew I had done bad...and well, I did pretty bad. Saturday, I weighed in at 156 pounds, wiping out all my progress over the last two weeks in one.

Impressive, right? Okay, maybe more disturbing that I could do that in a week's time but it was the wake up call I needed. I ate utter crap for a week and put on ten pounds. So, I set about to undo the damage and went on a two day fast starting Sunday to help purge the system. That fast, combined with some workouts during the fast, helped me lose five pounds.

By the time Tuesday rolled around, I was back to eating and eating clean. Clean eating makes all the difference in the world as this week I hardly worked out at all; I didn't do any dedicated workouts but rather just did things as they came along. Surprisingly, this methodology has gotten me back down to 146, which I didn't expect. 

Bottom line, I'm not going to stress anymore about that 14% Body Fat thing. It's just not worth the stress and aggravation in my estimation. It'll happen (eventually) but probably not before my self imposed deadline of July 25th, 2012...my one year anniversary of going Primal. 

Anyways, this week has been a marked improvement over the last three weeks and I hope to continue it next week. As always, any and all comments are welcome. God Bless, and stay tuned for more.  
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 13 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, June 15, 2012 at 7:48am ·
Well, this week has been quite a good one on a number of fronts. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 146

Weight Today: 141

Body Fat Last Week: 25.9 lbs/17.7%

Body Fat This Week: 22.6 lbs/16.0%

BMI Last Week: 22.5

BMI This Week: 21.7


Well, as we see, the results for this week have been good and it's not like I've been trying; I haven't. I haven't had a dedicated workout time all week...except for one day because I needed to mow the lawn. Other than that day though, what's been the key? Well, a few things come to mind.

1. A clean, well balanced breakfast: No, I'm not talking about the usually well balanced breakfast of cereal, a bit of fruit, and maybe some toast, I'm talking about breakfast as it should be: meat, some veggies, and a glorious fruit smoothie. That's the breakfast of champions and I do feel champion like when I rock that breakfast.

2. Getting to bed sorta early and getting up early: We've had VBS all week this week so I've been waking up around 6:30AM (yesh) to get on the go. This early wake up time (and somewhat early bed time of 10-11 PM) has resulted in me getting the day started out earlier in every way. My body seems to respond better to eating food earlier in the day as opposed to later.

3. Preschoolers: Yeah, this one is pretty much self-explanatory. They are a handful to keep up with and provide quite a workout in order to keep up with them. I don't have a problem with it but not everyone is me, lol.

Those would be my three keys of the week. As you can see by the results, through not really trying at all, I'm at 16% body fat and closing in on 14%, even though I really ain't trying hard on that front. Eating clean is the biggest thing for me and eating one big meal of the day at breakfast also works for me as well.

As always, any and all comments, suggestions, criticisms, ect are welcome. Stay tuned, thanks for reading, and God Bless. 
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 14 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 12:13pm ·
Well, this week wasn't quite as good as last week but I'm still very pleased with it. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 141

Weight Today: 138

Body Fat Last Week: 22.6 lbs/16.0%

Body Fat This Week: 20.8 lbs/15.1%

BMI Last Week: 21.7

BMI This Week: 21.2


We we can see, I dropped another3 pounds of straight weight this week which is fine but what I'm more enthused about is how my Body Fat dropped down almost 2 pounds! That puts my Body Fat Percentage down to 15.1%, just within striking distance of 14%.

I'm excited about this but not nearly as much as I thought I'd be. I guess that's simply because, even at 15.1% Body Fat, the gut still remains-it just looks even more deflated than it did previously. The flat tire comparison is pretty valid at this point. I've come to terms that this is most likely piles of loose skin just bunching up where my previously large keg of a gut was. As a friend of mine put it, I've lost an entire person in just under 11 months so there's bound to be a lot of loose skin left.

I'm allright with that. The main thing is that I'm approaching the goal I set for myself 14 weeks ago which was to hit 14% Body Fat before the one year anny of me going Primal and changing my life for the better. This goal is now within reach and, assuming I don't suffer a major setback, I should hit 14% Body Fat before July 25th (roughly a month away).

Looking at the other important stat, BMI, it's dropped for the second straight week and is down to 21.2. As far as that's concerned, I'm looking quite good with that stat. According to the information I've read, I'm right in the "lean" category for men as it pertains to BMI. Apparently, if I drop below 20 BMI I'm considered underweight; I don't think this will be a problem as, once I get to that 14%, I think I'll experiment with maintenance mode (which still seems mythological to me). 

Here are the keys to this week:

1. Eating clean: This should probably be at the top of everyone's list, but too often most of us don't do it. I'm no exception as I did have one notable mess up this week and that was a chocolate Sonic milkshake (it was half priced). It was quite good, at least in the short term, but when I woke up the next day (Thursday) my brain felt like it was in a vice. Way, way too much sugar in those shakes and I just didn't feel like eating, so I fasted. Turned out I made the right call which brings us to our next point...2. Listening to my body: This week has been particularly clear in a few things as far as my body goes. Too much sugar slows me down, puts my brain in a vice, and kills my appetite. Also, my body is-right now-in the mood to wake up at 6:30 in the morning. I've had trouble all week sleeping past 6:30AM and my body seems to like being up earlier in the day and getting it's nourishment then as opposed to later in the morning. I've never been a morning person, even in my school days, but I seem to be more of one now. I can only blame my hospital stay in November (where they came in at 6:30 in the morning to take blood and check on me) and VBS last week (where we had to be up early to set up). I've tried, and tried, to sleep in this week and have failed miserably. Today, despite going to bed at 12:30AM I was still up at 6:30 in the morning. I felt good being up then despite only getting 6 hours of sleep or so. 3. Not forcing myself to exercise: I have had a tendency, in the past, to force things in the exercise department. Early on in my Primal journey I needed the exercise to kick my metabolism in gear; now I can do minimal things during the course of the day and still cut down body fat and weight. It's been an adjustment as, when I tried this "not exercising" thing, back in September of last year, I only managed to lose a pound that week. It was depressing and has left a mark. I guess I wasn't ready for it then but my body seems ready for it now...which I more than welcome because it's summer in Alabama and that means it's HOT.

4. Experimentation: I've varied things a bit this week. Today, I made some Primal Oreo cookies (the recipe is on my timeline, as well as the pics of what I did) and I've strayed a bit from my usual standby meals. I'm finding that my slowly growing ability to make things in the kitchen is allowing me some freedom to change things up a bit. Don't be afraid to experiment; if it backfires, so be it, but not trying is worse than failing in my view.

That's it for the keys to this week. Next week will be a major test though-so far, as major tests go, I have just as many successes as failures. Thanksgiving and Christmas I didn't do so well. Spring break and Easter I did decently enough. But next week is going to be a week of multiple temptations.

The family-and many of our extended family-are going to the beach for the week and then we have a family wedding on that Saturday. So, that's a week at a beach (we're renting out a big house)which usually means lots of cheap, easy to make food in bulk. That basically equates to Italian food and I'm sure a number of restaurants. As being the only one in the family who's Primal (and thusly anti-bread and grains) this is going to be a tough row, but not impossible. I anticipate being able to work off most of what I eat at the beach during the day so hopefully it all balances out. 

Saturday things will be tougher though. My cousin is getting married and her wedding is likely to have all sorts of traps ahead of me food wise. Seeing as how I'll have been tempted all week at the beach, I anticipate my defenses to be less than optimal. Wedding cake, sugary drinks, and goodness knows what else awaits...it could be an issue. Now, I know, I could probably just let my hair loose (so to speak) but I fear that's the wrong response. We'll see what happens. 

That's all for this week's report. I'm just a little off 14% Body Fat and things are looking promising in that respect. July 25th is the date I've set to reach this goal and I think I'll make it. As always, any and all comments about anything I've said here (or anywhere else for that matter) are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God bless.
***
My Weight Loss III: Week 15 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, June 29, 2012 at 9:23am ·
Well, this week was notable for a lot of reasons but we'll get to the details in a minute. Here's here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 138

Weight Today: 140

Body Fat Last Week: 20.8 lbs/15.1%

Body Fat This Week: 21.5 lbs/15.4%

BMI Last Week: 21.2

BMI This Week: 21.4


All right, let's get the obvious out of the way; I did gain back some weight, specifically 2 pounds of straight weight and 7 tenths of a pound of Body Weight. Am I freaking out about it? Absolutely not. This week was a revelation in a few ways so let's get to them, shall we?

1. I think I'm done losing weight: This was the first revelation of the week as I saw myself in my swimsuit earlier in the week and my mind kinda red flagged the image. I've lost a LOT of weight in the past 11 months (now standing at126 pounds lost) and it's been a successful experience in my opinion. All that said, the journey hasn't been particularly kind to my skin-it's still trying to catch up in some spots (notably my stomach area) and my pursuit of 14% Body Fat doesn't hold the same importance to me anymore.

2. Instead of losing weight, I need to maintain a setpoint: This is the second revelation of this week. I've heard about this mythical "maintenance mode" for the past 11 months. I've seen people be able to succeed at it and others gain weight back. I'll admit, the idea of maintenance is one that kinda scares me; if I'm not losing weight, then I have to be gaining weight, right? That's the idea that's been firmly implanted in my head over the years. It's either one or the other... but I decided that this week would be a good week to test this "maintenance mode" thing out.

I promptly started this on Monday after we arrived at the beach. We went out and enjoyed some of the local (and WAY expensive) food and I had my first ever grass-fed beef burger (not as life altering as I thought). I ate a huge dinner- the burger, some fries, and some leftovers from my siblings plate. I felt like a freakin cow so I decided to walk back to the beachhouse... 6 miles away.

I was wearing sandals so... it was an unwise move on my part. Got a whole bunch of blisters on my foot, had to be picked up 3 miles later (cause I was tired) and really it was just a dunderhead thing for me to do. But I felt I had to because I felt I overdid it at dinner. 

The next morning I weighed in at 140 and I was waiting for the voice in my head to scream "FAST-RESET-DON'T OVERDO IT AGAIN” but it didn't. The image of myself in my swimsuit was firmly in my mind and the voice in my head didn't scream much of anything; it merely said, "Don't gain anymore. Leave it at 140... it's an even number."

Which brings me to my third revelation of this week...

3: One Meal To Rule Them All... doesn't really rule at all: I've been running the one meal a day thing for months now and it's worked great. The weight has come off, the hunger is controllable, the ability to think about other things besides food is there... but there have been days where I've been hungry and I've ignored it. All for a number. Since I devoted myself to testing out the "maintenance mode" thing I decided to ditch one meal a day and go for two.

Initially, this was difficult... not eating all the food I needed in one meal was tough to do. The first few days of the week I overshot the mark in the mornings, took a walk (on my bum right foot) to offset it, and tried to stay alive till dinner. Yesterday though I overshot the mark again, but did some walking and then found myself hungry at lunch.

So, I ate lunch and I kept it controlled. Had me a burger, some chili, some cucumbers, and a few potato chips. The meal was filling but not TOO filling... I went out for another walk again after lunch to blow off some steam (I was not pleased at the Supreme Court ruling, not at all) and then by the time dinner rolled around I was hungry once more. So, I had dinner... beef stew with all kinds of veggies in it. It was YUMMY. This time I didn't do any walking or anything like that, I just relaxed for the rest of the night.

I expected to be heavy this morning and instead... still at 140. It was the first time in months that I've had three meals a day and I was quite pleased with myself. It's not a perfect formula yet as I still have a tendency to overdue it at breakfast but I'm working on it.

4. Walking is majorly important: With my foot being messed up because of my rash decision to walk 6 miles in sandals (and only making 3 of those miles) I can't really run or jog right now. Instead, I've been dedicating myself to doing 30-40 minutes of walking and it's worked out quite well... walking is majorly important. Sure, running/jogging gets you there faster and burns more but walking still burns quite a bit in 30-40 minutes. Take a walk to a store or something, enjoy the summer morning/evening and get out there.

5. Clothes are fun... for the first time ever: Yeah, you guys have probably figured this out by now but I like shopping for clothes now. Yesterday me and some of the family went shopping and I got myself some nice, new, dress/casual (not Polo) clothes and I was thrilled to find stuff that actually fits. More so, I found that some I'm considered "slim fit" in most shirts now-call me thrilled. Also, I discovered that some stores don't carry shorts smaller than size 32; I wear 30... or less.

And that's it for the revelations. I'm pretty sure I'm done losing weight and I'm going to go into maintenance mode. Next week's note will reflect this. I think I'll put my setpoint at 140 and I want to stay in the 15% Body Fat range. Hopefully, I can figure out how to do this maintenance thing.

As always, any and all comments are welcome, stay tuned, thanks for reading, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Maintenance: Week 1 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:39pm ·
I did mean to make last week my first week of maintenance mode but I couldn't get out of my own way. At any rate, I did make an effort this week to go into maintenance mode. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 140

Weight Today: 140

Body Fat Last Week: 21.8 lbs/15.6%

Body Fat This Week: 20.9 lbs/15.1%

BMI Last Week: 21.5

BMI This Week: 21.2


First and foremost, I must apologize for last week's lack of a report. It was a busy week and got real hectic towards the end, so I skipped it. I felt all right about it but I need these. I need the accountability. This week has presented a number of challenges so there are a few things I want to cover.

First, as it pertains to my weight, I'm still at 140 but my body fat has considerably dropped since last week's measurement. This is due to a few things. I've dropped the morning smoothies as a regular breakfast staple and haven't had one in week. I do miss it but I've found that eating solid food for breakfast again just works better for me now. Since I'm not aiming to lose weight, I feel I can afford the solid food at breakfast. The next thing is that I'm playing more now... I'm not just walking or running or doing things, I'm playing more. Play has about everything you need to do as far as exercise goes. Sure, I do look silly doing it, but it's fun. The last thing is that I'm pretty much on a regular eating schedule now-it pretty much boils down to breakfast, a modest lunch (or none at all) and a healthy dinner. It's quite fulfilling. 

Now, for this week's revelations:

1. Cooking dinner won't kill people: As I'm sure some of you are aware, my various cooking failures over the years have resulted in a healthy and justified fear of me in the kitchen by others (and myself). I'm scarred as far as cooking goes... I've burned things that people shouldn't be able to burn. I'm melted things in the oven and on top of them... it's been bad.

These years and years of experiences have resulted in me being deathly afraid of cooking dinner. It could only end in disaster, right? Well, at one time I thought that any attempt to lose weight could only result in failure... and I was wrong. At one time I thought that breakfast was out of my reach simply because I couldn't have any of my favorites anymore... and I was wrong.

All this culminated in a glamorous, glorious event Thursday night where I was A) hyped up on three glasses of green tea, B) left alone in the house by myself, and C) had the materials on hand to try out a recipe that looked simple and good. So, with no one there to stop me and no one there to bring up my long horror story-like cooking history... it was left to me to decide if I would commit to it or chicken out. I set six o'clock as my deadline... if someone came back to the house before then to cook dinner I'd let them. 

No one did. I committed to the course of action and was running on nervous energy. I did a lot of things I never did before that night... I defrosted ground beef, browned it in a skillet, and made a casserole with it. I was expecting something horrible to happen and instead something amazing did... I made a decent dinner. I mean, I call it decent but the reviews were quite positive. People went so far as to call it good!

Anyways, no one died from the cooking (though it did give people plenty of gas this morning, lol) and there were plenty of leftovers so there was no cooking tonight. A bit of microwaving but that's about it. You have no idea how much of a pure relief it is to know I can cook something at dinner... I was afraid I was stuck cooking only breakfast (and I just do that halfway decently) so to discover I can cook dinner means I have a huge asset in development. I'm looking forward to seeing what things I can make in the future.

2. Plumbers should be in better shape: Seriously, I don't know why plumbers look so out of shape. I've spent the majority of this week helping fixing a major plumbing problem at a friends house and there's been plenty of exercise involved. Up and down the stairs over and over, carrying heavy things, sawing, and more... I don't understand how plumbers are so out of shape. It's hard work. It's tough work.

We fixed the plumbing problem today (massive, massive amounts of win) and I feel so victorious... and also so tired. I'm wore slap out. I've been feeling the effects just add up and drag on for days now... it hit me pretty hard today as I slept in till eight in the morning and still felt tired (I blame the many glasses of green tea for this). At any rate, with all the work I helped in I can't imagine how plumbers are in such poor shape. I guess it's like they say... maintaining good health is more about diet than exercise.

3. There's nothing like a good shower: There really isn't anything like a good shower. I've found that this week I'm come to appreciate the shower more. All the plumbing work was making us sweat in this heat and worst yet, two thirds of the problems were in the basement (dirty) and the attic era (even dirtier). So, all that dust, grime, and junk has been on me multiple times throughout the week and the shower was my savior. I freakin needed it... it was my lifeline. If at the end of a long day I can look forward to that shower I'll be fine.

Those are my revelations for this week. Since I'm in maintenance mode (and weight loss is not an objective) I'm also adding in weekly challenges for myself. I need a goal to focus on and in maintenance mode simply staying at 140 and 15% body fat is... well, kinda easy. If this week is any indication, as long as I don't go flying off the rails I'll be good.

So, I need an objective and so these weekly challenges will serve as that for me.

1. Improve dinner cooking skills: Despite good reviews from my first meal ever, I did end up losing sleep (literally) over what I could have done better. Had I used my head a little and not focused so hardcore on the recipe I would have been able to do some things better with the casserole. There are other recipes that involve chicken (I have access to lots) that I want to test out in the coming week, but we'll see what, if anything, I can manage. I think I'll just aim for one dinner meal a week until I learn what I'm doing without having to constantly refer to google to answer my questions.

2. Figure out what size clothes I'm in: As far as shirts are concerned, I'm a small/medium. The pants/shorts are the issue. The 32s I got a few months back are sliding off pretty badly and the 30s I got a few weeks back are starting to follow. I need to know what size I'm in for my own sanity... I'm tired of the clothes sliding off. I can keep all of them by wearing belts but belts I don't have many of (only two, both beat up) so I need to figure out what size I am, if I can stay that size, and if I need to buy a new, better, all purpose belt or say adios to the shorts.

And that's it for this week's report. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Maintenance: Week 2 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 12:52pm ·
This week was a mixed bag but I managed to pull it out all right. The details can wait, here's the bottom line:

Weight Last Week: 140

Weight Today: 139

Body Fat Last Week: 20.9 lbs/15.1%

Body Fat This Week: 20.8 lbs/15.0%

BMI Last Week: 21.2

BMI This Week: 21.3


This week was not as easy as I had hoped it would be. There were a number of fluctuations throughout the week but the damage done was limited to about three days. I spent the rest of the week trying to undo that damage and did succeed but with a cost. Let me lay out the days for you so you can see exactly what went down. 

Saturday: This was my "get out and get things done day" and I totally did that. I was actually quite thrilled to go shopping and discover that I was in size 28 shorts (though in jeans I'm still closer to 29 than 28 ;) ) and the shopping aspect was quite an adventure. I did my research, did my due diligence, and hit about every major store in town that sold clothes (most were having a sale that day) and got me some new things that I'm quite thrilled with.

Eating wise, the day was spent eating my leftover Meatzilla casserole (4.5 lbs of meat, Bacon included!), enjoying some ginger ale, and eating cashews. Now, to those that may recall my love affair with salted cashews, I tend to stay away from them because I'm simply an addict for them. I'll knock those things back like an alcoholic knocks back a couple of six packs... it takes no effort, little thought, and it's a completely enjoyable experience (at least until later). I managed to temper myself though but sadly, my self-control would not last.

Sunday: This was the day I was totally looking forward to. I had the day pretty much planned out with what I wanted to do-catch up on laundry, read some Plato, take some notes, and enjoy milk+cookies. Little did I know that such a combination would take so much to achieve as Sunday turned out far busier than I thought it would be. Putting in a new mailbox, post and all, appeared on my docket somewhat unexpectedly (that's what I get for making assumptions, lol) but I tackled it with gusto. After all, a few days ago, I had helped fix a major plumbing issue and my confidence level was at a high.

Naturally, the weather decides that day not to cooperate and rain entered the forecast. We dealt with it, but the weather, combined with the poor condition of the current mailbox/post (it was a MAJOR pain to get out of the ground), and just my general frustration about it all resulted in me just getting short with people... and totally caving in to some seriously bad cravings. Whereas in the beginning of the day the idea of milk+cookies, Plato, and laundry was nice, I had no intentions of overdoing it. I just wanted a little milk+cookies, not a whole lot, but I was so stressed by the time the mailbox thing was done that I caved majorly.

So, in the span of about an hour and a half, I nailed half a bag of cookies, a tall glass of milk, and then busted open a box of cereal which I then proceeded to eat about a third of. Suffice it to say, I felt pretty bad about it all the next day which brings us to...

Monday: You'd think, after the damage I did to myself on Sunday, that I'd learn something by Monday but... well, slow learner that I am, it takes a lot to really get through my thick skull. So, Monday, I felt pretty horrible about it all, didn't sleep well, and generally just wasn't in the greatest of moods. My sleep schedule would start to fall apart at this point and wouldn't really recover towards the end of the week (only to be derailed yet again, as we'll see).

At any rate, food wise, I started to compound my mistakes. Weight wise, I was high side 141 by this point and looking like I was gonna hit 142. I wasn't exactly running on all cylinders so my thought process pretty much boiled down to "screw it, I'll just make up for it later."

Ah, the shining brilliance of stupidity. I dipped, once again, into the bag of cookies, polishing them off and eating more of my cereal. Suffice it to say, I was not feeling great when I went to bed.

Tuesday: Hello, 142. That was pretty much what my scale said to me as I stepped on it and without me batting an eye, it told me exactly what I knew. I felt really, really crappy at his point but the day was going to be rather easy on me. Despite that, the buildup of major crappy feeling-ness (not a word, but hey, it works) pretty much sent me careening down a cliff.

Despite the fact that I had knocked out the cookies and grown tired of them, there was still the matter of the cashews... they had some left. I wanted them. All of them... and so I knocked them back with reckless abandon, destroyed leftovers in the fridge, and had two ginger ales... suffice it to say, these things were not doing me any favors. The high sodium content of the cashews were going to play havoc with my scale (and my mind) but I didn't really think about that. I just got lost in the blissful unawareness of it all.

It did nothing for my energy levels though and I was pretty much dead by the time 6 PM hit. I retired for the night, watched some Star Trek, and promptly fell asleep at 8:30 PM.

Wednesday: At this point, rock bottom was pretty much staring me in the face. I woke up around my normal time in the morning (about 6:30 AM) and the scale pretty much told me that I was in danger of seeing 143. I was just BARELY 142 and though I took a bit of pride in that (seeing as how I had abused my body for days on end at this point), the number was still way too high for my tastes. Anything above 140 just made me ill and seeing the number creep it's way up to nearly 143 was enough to shake me out of my "screw it" mentality. 

I was going to fast for the entire day to get myself back down to a respectable number (anything less than 142 at that point) but as fate/fortune would have it, I would get the opportunity for some extended pool time. I wasn't expecting it and I was actually quite glad for it... I needed it more than the other people at the pool, that's for sure. So, to the pool I went.

I was promptly mistaken for someone under 16 upon my arrival. As much as I would love to have left that out of this week's report, the fact is this is the first time I genuinely felt the person making the "you can't be 23" comment actually, really, meant it. The lady handing out the pool pass wristbands said pretty much unequivocally that I could have passed for under 16 and not have paid the adult fee to get in. The fact that I was two pounds heavier than I was that time last week and hadn't shaved in over a week, and still got mistaken for under 16, pretty much solidified the fact that there's no way to make me look older. At all. So, if you ever think to yourself "well, losing weight will make me healthier but really, is it that big a deal?" I'd like you to remember that I'm 23 (nearly 24) and people think I'm 16 (or younger).

After that awkward moment with the "I'm 23, not 16" thing passed, I jumped into the pool and had a blast playing for a little over two hours. Now, the pool is great for many things but the pool we were at was an indoor one... and apparently if the pool is an indoor pool people feel less shame wearing pool clothes that are obviously a little to small for them. Even without my glasses on the images burned into my mind will not go away any time soon... people, I beg of you, if you're gonna go swimming please wear properly sized swim clothes.

Another thing I noticed in the course of this pool experience was how chunky young kids are getting. It made me quite sad to see kids that were 6, 7, or 8 running around the pool carrying far too much weight for their age. I've hammered this point home multiple times before but, for the sake of consistency, I'll do it again; kids shouldn't be as big as they are at the ages they are... we have a serious weight issue in this country that's gonna kill the next generation (or at least severely limit what they can do). It starts with one, people... one example, one choice, and though it's hard, please make the healthiest choice possible when you can. Not only does it serve as an example to those around you but, who knows, it may just have further reaching ramifications that you're not aware of.

Okay, tangent done, back on topic... the pool. It was fun. It was great. Afterwards we hit up a Sweet Frog (nice flavor choice, good frozen yogurt... way not worth the money in my opinion but it was the first time I've ever been in one, so I'll reserve total judgement). I was offered some yogurt but I passed it up (though I did steal a few bites here and there ;) ) and continued with my fast.

Dinner, I did partake in, and it was a glorious feast. Salad with this amazing cheese on it (so amazing I ate the salad BEFORE the main course... that should speak volumes as seeing how I have historically detested salad) and the main course, a scrumptious (first time I've used that word in years I think) pork loin. Hats off to the chef for sure (multiple thanks have been expressed since) and I had two of them. I figured I was doing well for the day and, low and behold, I would be rewarded in the morning.

Thursday: 140... high side, but 140. I was thrilled. I had managed to undo the damage quite spectacularly and decided to reward myself with some pancakes. They were originally going to be waffles but I couldn't figure out how to make the waffle iron work (only to discover later while cleaning it what I was doing wrong... still feel like a noob about that). The mixture was quite good and the pancakes turned out so well that they would be used later for dinner. I had, inadvertently, committed the cardinal sin of using the last can of something (in this case, pumpkin) and so dinner was locked in as pumpkin chili.

So, with that to look forward to, and a day ahead, I relaxed a bit. For lunch I had a leftover bratwurst, and some veggies, and the day was spent in a rather relaxed, easy going state. Dinner, the grand finale of the day, was the delicious pumpkin chili. Ah, I so loved it... it was so good I went back for seconds. 

And that's where my mistake was. The chili itself was fine but I didn't account for own limitations-otherwise known as my meddlesome, troublesome, gallbladder (I used to have trouble spelling this-would always sub in the Cardassian "Gul" for "gall"). I got cheese on top of my chili and I had already had some coconut milk (high in fat as well) earlier in the day... so the cheese and the coconut milk combined to lockdown my gallbladder. I didn't feel it at first... I felt fine at first... but like all things, after a little while I was not feeling fine.

8 PM rolls around and while I'm in the middle of playing some Super Mario Bros. (the Wii one), I began to feel the pain. My stomach was not pleased with me and by the time 9 PM rolled around, I was starting to feel a long night come on. I thought, briefly, about just sucking it up and trying not to get some Pepto but I was promptly told by a friend of mine that was utterly idiotic-take the medicine, feel better... so I did.

It worked for about 30 minutes and then by gallbladder kicked in full force and I found myself kneeling before my toilet (again... I've lost count how many times at this point) puking my guts out. Thankfully, I only had to do that once, but the rest of the night was spent in misery as I could only sleep (uncomfortably) on my side, the sleep was not that great at all, and the pain didn't go away till about 5:30 in the morning. 

Which brings us to today. I'm feeling not quite as horrible as I was earlier this morning. To my surprise, I weighed in at a low 139 and so here I sit, with ginger ale and a bowl of cereal, trying to eat. I'm not really hungry but I need to eat as vomiting tends suck a lot of nutrients out of things.

At any rate, that's been this week's report. It's been quite in depth so I hope you'll be able to get something out it. As always, any and all comments are welcome. God bless, thanks for reading, and stay tuned.
***
Well, after last week I expected this week to normalize and normalize it did. This week also marked the one year anniversary of me going Primal and changing my life for the better... so I'll be listing some things I've learned over the course of the last year in this entire process. All that can wait though... here's the bottom line:

Weight Last Week: 139

Weight Today: 140

Body Fat Last Week: 20.8 lbs/15.0%

Body Fat This Week: 21.6 lbs/15.4%

BMI Last Week: 21.3

BMI This Week: 21.6


So, as we see, things are up across the board. In the past this would not please me but after last week, I'm glad to see things back at 140. Again, as much as I like 139 it bugs me on a number of levels (it's an odd number, it feels "too low", and it just makes me want to drop down to 138-which really feels "too low).

Now, even with the numbers up, they're still well within the range I want to maintain. The body fat reads still in the 15% range and my BMI is still firmly in the 21 range, right where I want it to be.

This week hasn't been particularly revolutionary or lesson worthy as last week was, but there's still a few things to take away from it. Here are my keys to this week:

1. One meal is not enough... two meals seems just right: I'm slowly pulling myself out of the "eat only once a day" mindset and it's tough to do-I've been doing this particular eating style for months at a time in order to lose weight and now that I'm wear I want, weight wise, eating one meal a day isn't needed. I've been trying the past few weeks to find what eating pattern is right for me now and I've discovered that two meals a day is where it's at for me.

Breakfast and dinner: those are the meals I eat. Lunch seems too close to both and doesn't seem to really matter, to be honest. Breakfast I generally eat mid morning (8-9AM) and that gets me through to dinner usually. I've allotted myself some snack time as well if I feel like it... snacks, once banned, are slowly working their way back in. It's still tough for me to limit the snack to just a snack (bad habits from my former life still there) but a handful of something helps ease the hunger and keeps me looking forward to dinner.

2. Sleep will always be important: The body needs sleep. This week sleep has been difficult to come across because I've been going to bed late and waking up early. I've basically been running on six hours of sleep for most of the week and, as nice as that is, it's clearly shown up in the daily measurements. Not just the straight numbers but rather how I feel, act, and function... again, it seems as if need somewhere between 7-8 hours of sleep to function well on all levels.

I've made this observation a few times throughout this entire process, but it always amazes me how easy it is to forget such a basic thing as getting good sleep. We keep ourselves up for so long and do so much in the course of a seemingly not-enough timeframe of 24 hours that sleep just slips to bottom of the list in terms of priorities.We need more sleep as a people I think.

That's it for keys to this week.

Now, onto my observations over the last year. This week (July 25th, this past Wednesday) I celebrated (more like acknowledged) my one year anniversary of taking the plunge on this whole Primal thing. Here are the things I've observed about myself (and others) in the course of this journey.

1. It's not impossible if you try: This headlines the entire thing. Most of you know my history as it came to food and weight over the course of my life up until last year. It wasn't pretty and I had resigned myself to being the fat guy for the rest of my life. That was my role and that would always be my role. That didn't mean I was satisfied with it but rather I was just comfortable with living in that moderate misery. It was like an old friend, a companion of the worst kind... every attempt to lose weight had failed before (mostly because I willed it to fail) and so what point was there?

But, as with all things, there's always that last shot... the "one more time" mentality that so often baits us into doing something stupid. For once, it actually ended up helping me. I knew from the beginning that what I was attempting would likely fail... I had never been able to stick to a diet or way of eating or an exercise routine or anything like that... the results were never fast enough, the going too slow, and the food was never that good. Salads? Really?

Yet, I saw the results right before me last summer of someone who had turned themselves from something they were unhappy with to something they liked a whole lot... and that looked really good to everyone else. It's not like I had anything to lose... but I thought it was really impossible. I was prepared to back track, to set up a method of defense to protect myself from blame and blame the diet itself (always an easy scapegoat).

And the rest is, as they say, history. I saw results within the first week and kept seeing those results. The impossibility that would never be conquered? Conquered. In fact, I conquered a few impossibilities... every goal met spawned another goal to be owned. Every day with progress spawned a need for another day of progress. It was addicting, in a way, the results: without them I felt like a failure but with them I felt like a God amongst men.

The bottom line is this: just because you think it's impossible doesn't mean you shouldn't try. For years I didn't try and those are years I will never be able to get back... but I eventually did try. I did find success. I encourage you good folks to try. Even if you fail at least you made the effort.

2. The way I did things isn't something others should try: I fully and readily admit that I went to extremes in this journey that others should not do. In the first three months, particularly, I took risks and did things that eventually landed me in the hospital (hey gallbladder... still hate you). I ran myself into the ground with cardio, I starved myself some days to reach  a number, and I blindly kept at it to achieve a number that I should never have been able to approach. Losing 60 pounds in less than three months isn't right... losing 47 (and feeling like I failed) in that time span is still wrong.

I went too fast and too hard in the beginning. I did this for a number, a goal, and I pay for it today. My gallbladder has it's good days and bad... my skin is still struggling to adapt from all the weight lost. If I could recommend anything to anyone going to try to lose weight, it's that you shouldn't do it the way I did. I took it to many extremes that were unnecessary and I did this, in a way, to make up for all the time I wasted not eating right and exercising.

Whatever the case, please don't do things how I did them initially. I was a noob at this whole weight loss thing and made noob mistakes (despite being advised by veterans not to do them). I didn't listen. I didn't pay attention to my body. I chased a number like a dog chases a car... and I got hit with the cold reality of it all in the end.

3. Eating right and exercising isn't as easy as it sounds: It just isn't. You hear everyone say it and you think to yourself "How do they have the time to do that?" and you can't come up with the answer. Well, I'll tell you, you literally have to make the time. You have to devote yourself to that time to the exclusion of all else in my experience. Throughout this journey I've spent an inordinate amount of time calculating what I eat, how it affects me, creating an exercise regime, executing that regime, and then sticking with it.

It tales A LOT of time and work. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise... it's not easy. It's not super hard but it's mildly difficult and moderately annoying. In the last year my social life, on life support before anyway, pretty much died. Friends will gladly testify that I was a ghost for the last year for the most part. I decided to sacrifice that for this... it wasn't that big a sacrifice for me (seeing as how it was on life support before anyway) but it still sucked. I missed people... I missed doing things. Something has to be sacrificed in the the name eating right and exercise.

It doesn't always have to be that way. Once you meet your goal or are otherwise satisfied, you can start bringing things back into play that were sacrificed before. My social life is slowly being phased back in as I continue in maintenance mode.

4. A whole new you on the outside... the same (if not new) problems on the inside: People say I'm thin. I mean, a lot of people. I've been nicknamed "Skinny Zach" and I've even had a few new Miis on some Wiis get made in honor of my physical change. It's been... weird. Well, weird is an understatement, I don't know what to call it... maybe strange?

I'm now thin (the sentence alone brings forth disbelief in me). I wear small shirts, size 28 shorts, size 30 jeans, my feet are smaller, my wrist/hands/fingers are smaller... I'm smaller, significantly so. I can't wrap my brain around it and I don't know how to deal with it.

But even with my new body and new problems because of that, I still have the same internal issues. I don't know what to do with myself in a social situation most of the time... before I at least had a role to play if I decided I wanted that role. I was the fat guy so I could play the jolly fat guy role... easy, right? Now... well, what am I?

My whole mentality before was built on the fact-the unchangeable, impossible to every be anything else but fact-that I was fat. I would always be so. That fact eliminated things wholesale that I could do. I had lived with that fact, that mentality, for the better part of nearly 13 years. I was the fat guy... I was insecure around girls, I was totally lost in social situations that required me to be something else besides the fat guy, and I was out of my depth on many levels.

Now... all that is still the same. Except that I'm not fat anymore so I don't have an easy out. I don't have anything now... nearly 13 years worth of data, observations, and routines in social situations based on the fact that I was fat are rendered useless. I'm back at square one and I have to build an entirely new social role from the ground up.

I have no idea what to do with myself in that arena now. I still feel like the fat guy who has nothing more to offer than comic relief... except now I'm not.

Again, weird. But the point is that just because I look significantly better now and feel (as far as health goes) significantly better now it doesn't mean that the internal issues I had have gone away. In fact, they're even more apparent than before... there's not layers of fat to distract people from it anymore.

Being thin doesn't cure all problems. It cures some, but certainly not all... and that's a truth that I'm coming to grips with now.

5. People will do as they see fit... even with the evidence before them: This one is an observation that I wish were false but it's true. I've lost 126 pounds from the start of this thing and I've lost more than that from my highest weight ever (as best I know, that was 273, April 2011-I didn't step on a scale again till last July). I'm a completely transformed person physically. I look 16, max (people don't believe how old I am). I look this to myself... I look 16, max, in pictures. I don't look 23 (soon to be 24) and I certainly don't feel like it. I feel and look younger than I ever was when I was 16. I'm in the best shape of my life at 23...

And yet people continue to ignore how I did it. How I achieved it. How I went about it. The evidence is there before them and they say "Oh, we can't do that" and continue to eat how they want. And you know what? That still pisses me off. I want the people to know, I want them to be able to find the health that I have... yet, like I was before, they refuse to listen.

I get that. I do, I was like that before last summer... and I regret every wasted minute of it. I honestly wish I could go back in time, kick myself in the balls, and demand I listen to my friend who had been telling me about this for months. She first told me about in in October of 2010... and it took ten more months before I finally got fed up with myself to take the plunge.

But... people will do what they do. It pisses me off but it's the truth. Nothing more I can do about it than live my life and hope the people see the light, as it were.

6. Cooking is fun: Did I mention this already? No? Well, let me mention it now then. Cooking before was a torturous, stressful experience for me. I had no confidence in the kitchen and I couldn't cook to save my life. Now, I can... and it's directly because of all the weight I lost. I conquered that, so conquering cooking shouldn't be too hard, right? Right.

It's been fun in my limited time in the kitchen... making adjustments and such to the food. I've unintentionally discovered a few things that work and that don't. It's as much art as science, cooking, and that makes it quite a unique experience. I like the act of cooking at it's base level-making food for others to enjoy with you-but I was never able to execute the finer points (like not burning things).

I still have difficulties doing some of the finer things but I'm learning.

7. Shopping is fun... if not a bit of a pain: Finding clothes that actually fit me is somewhat hard but an enjoyable experience. Before, shopping was misery inducing... it would boil down to "What won't fit today and how pissed at myself should I be?"

Now it's like "I wonder if they have clothes small enough for me..." and that thought brings a smirk to my face. It's tough finding small clothes in a country that is getting bigger by the day but it's not impossible. It just requires a lot of looking and a lot of thinking on my part.

I like to shop for clothes now. If that makes me unusual, so be it... but it's quite fun. If not a bit annoying sometimes.

8. I'm not afraid of pictures anymore: If you broke out a camera I might just break out into a fast walk before. I was not photogenic at all... I was fat. And the pictures just made me fatter. It's bad when you're afraid of pictures but I was. I'm not anymore (as Facebook can attest to with all the pics I've uploaded in the last few months). I still have issues with my pictures (I look like a young teenager... like someone who can't drive yet) but these are issues I'm more than comfortable with.

Before, in pics, I looked like a beached whale. Now I look like someone who just got into 10th grade. Hey, it's an improvement... and more than that it's good not to be afraid of the camera anymore.

9. Food and I... we still have issues: You'd think, with all the progress I've made, I'd be standing here and saying "Food no longer has any power over me!"

Well, that would be a bold faced lie. I still have issues with it. It's not as bad as it was before but one cookie can easily turn into four if I lose control. That's better than before where it was one cookie turning into ten but still, it speaks to an unhealthy relationship with food. The good foods-the meats, the veggies, fruits-I know when to stop with for the most part. The indulgences... the cheats... the cookies, the ice cream, and more... well, those still set off a trigger.

I'm an emotional eater and it's not every kind of emotion but rather one kind-anger. If I'm pissed, I'm finding myself something to eat I shouldn't be eating. Sadness makes me not want food... it's anger that makes me want the bad stuff. Why that is, I'm not sure. But it's something I'm constantly looking back in my mental rearview mirror for.

It's still an issue and probably will be for a number of years at least.

10. I'm ashamed of myself: Why, you ask? I spent nearly 13 years decrying the "thin complex" and preaching "I'm created as fat because God wanted me that way." I spent that nearly 13 years in clothes I was too big for, showing off my horrifying body at the pool with no shame, and eating things I shouldn't have. I wasted nearly 13 years being an idiot.

And I'm ashamed of that. I look at all the people around me now and feel horrible for all the people I exposed to that skewed way of thinking I was preaching for years. I really, really just... I don't know, wish I was able to undo that. I can't, but I wish I was able to. I wasn't someone who hated thin people or degraded them in a horrible way... but I did joke on them. I did feel envious towards them. I was jealous of them and I disliked them on some level because they were thin.

I had no right to feel that way. In retrospect, I should have been directing that dislike at myself... but the entire reason I was preaching as I was and disliking thin people as I was probably stemmed from the fact that I disliked my body a whole lot by that point. I just had an abundance of negative emotions about myself that needed to be spread to others in order to keep my level of misery from becoming crippling.

Years of being unashamed have caught up with me.

All I can do now is help spread the knowledge that I have, the understanding that I have, about how the body works and hope some listen.

Speaking of listening, thank you for listening (reading, really) to all that and everything else I've posted over the last year about this journey. You people helped keep me accountable, helped keep me (relatively) sane, and were a huge part of the reason why this has been such a success.

Thanks for everything, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Maintenance: Week 4 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, August 3, 2012 at 9:44am ·
Well, this week was fun and didn't turn out as I expected it too. My body seemed to have it's own ideas on what was proper and what wasn't this week... the details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 140

Weight Today: 139

Body Fat Last Week: 21.6 lbs/15.4%

Body Fat This Week: 21.2 lbs/15.2%

BMI Last Week: 21.6

BMI This Week: 21.4


Well, as we can see, I'm back down to the (uneven) 139. In the past, this would be cause for celebration but not this time. I wanted 140 and I was well on my way to doing that over the weekend. Let me sketch it out, day by day, how things went down:

Saturday: Attended a 5 year old's birthday party and let me tell you, this was the best 5 year old birthday party ever in the history of mankind. Why, do you ask, would I rate a 5 year old's birthday party this high? He asked for cheesecake as his birthday cake. And not the store bought stuff, no he wanted homemade cheesecake. I was the most excited person there for it and the adults were quite amused by that.

Everyone by this point knows my love of cheesecake, the history of it with me, and why, despite my lactose intolerance, I still eat it. I did so enjoy myself at that party... two and half pieces of cheesecake, four glasses of wine (or was it five?) and fun to be had by all. My, oh my, was I having a blast. Dinner was three hamburger patties with an assortment of grilled veggies (good stuff) and I expected disaster the next morning. Not only on the weight front but also on the "Will I suffer a hangover?" front. There were concerns that was going to be the case.

Sunday: Sunday-the big day. I awoke in the morning pretty good, not suffering from any hangover effects and being greeted by 142 on the scale (as opposed to something far higher which was what I was expecting). I jumped into my church clothes and headed out to church (my first Sunday there) and had a good time of it.

But I had a hankering for muffins and so, with the afternoon just starting out, I went and made some Banana Muffins. Sure, it was nearly 2:30PM by the time it was done but the muffins got good reviews. I had me a few and that was pretty much what I ate for the day. It was quite fulfilling.

Monday: Monday arrived and I decided to shoot for the moon. We had only one banana left and it was getting pretty ripe, so it was time to bomb things like no other... I went and made a fruit smoothie. Now, I haven't had a fruit smoothie in a few weeks; the things are pretty much a fructose bomb. The system just gets assaulted by all the sugar.

But I needed this banana to be used and I hate eating them plain, so smoothie it was. I bombed the system and then I went and played at the park for three hours. It was great getting out of the house, walking down the nature trails, swinging, playing some baseball... it was fun all around.

Dinner was fish and salad (and it was some good salad), with one glass of wine, and then I did some reading.

Tuesday: To my surprise (and general dislike) I weighed in at 139. I only got about five solid hours of sleep (and spent the next few hours lying in bed, unable to sleep, and unhappy with myself over a number of things). Breakfast was oatmeal and an old favorite, peanut butter toast.

I love, LOVE peanut butter and peanut butter toast. It was my breakfast of choice for many years and it had been over a year since I had it. Being in the cranky, bad mood that I was, I threw caution to the win and enjoyed myself some peanut butter toast and oatmeal. For lunch, I made myself a ham and cheese tortilla and I skipped dinner. The day was spent mostly contemplating Plato and feeling guilty about the toast.

Wednesday: I expected to weigh in heavy and instead I found myself... at 139. Once again, I was dissatisfied and couldn't figure out how I managed it. The toast and the peanut butter should have done bad things to me and instead I got... nothing. Basically the same weight, minus a few tenths.

Interested to see if I could get away with it again, I did oatmeal and peanut butter toast for breakfast, skipped lunch, and made dinner (Dang Fine Chicken, if you'd like the recipe, let me me know). Dinner was a success and I felt pretty good about the day... finished the night with a glass of wine (I'm so bad) and drifted off to bed.

Thursday: This was where things got interesting. I woke up in the morning to the tune of 140-finally, back where I wanted to be. I enjoyed oatmeal and peanut butter toast for breakfast yet again and then for lunch had half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (an old lunch time staple). Went shopping (came in under 50 dollars-I was SO proud) and then enjoyed some Thai takeout.

I full expected to be 140 when I awoke... and then this morning rolls around and there I am, back at 139. Somehow.

The reasoning for these things I can't fathom. The bread and peanut butter (though both high quality) should have made me gain weight, not lose it. I didn't nothing intensive this week besides going to the park for those three hours. I'm confused about all this but I guess this is just what maintenance mode boils down to. I've dipped back and forth between 139 and 140 for the past three weeks. Personally, I prefer 140 because it's an even, whole number and looks much more appealing than 139.

But my body seems to disagree.

Anyway, thanks for reading. This week has been filled with all kinds of things and hasn't been nearly as productive as I'd like, but it's nearly over. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Stay tuned and God Bless.
***
My Weight Maintenance: Week 5 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, August 10, 2012 at 9:05am ·
Well, things continue to follow the pattern established in the previous weeks. The details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 139

Weight Today: 140

Body Fat Last Week: 21.2 lbs/15.2%

Body Fat This Week: 21.7 lbs/15.5%

BMI Last Week: 21.4

BMI This Week: 21.5


Back up to 140, thankfully, but how or why again befuddles me. I can't identify a pattern here other than every odd week I'm going to be 140 and every even one I'll be 139.

Let's start with this past weekend: I once again needed to play Mr. Mom (a role I'm very accustomed to) and that required a significant portion of my time (read, pretty much all of it). Now, it's not like I have a life so this isn't a huge issue from a social standpoint but it did mean that the weekend was filled with me in a slightly annoyed/stressed state which is just as good as saying "I'm going to be eating things I probably shouldn't."

I know me. I'm an emotional eater. It's actually a family trait, inherited from my mother's side as everyone in her family, in times of high emotions, usually goes to food for comfort. (As a total aside, this analysis was done by the various members of my mother's side of the family while we were all together at the beach in late June).

Anyways, the low levels of stress and annoyance weren't really much to push me into eating badly. However, if you throw a good movie into the mix, one that I absolutely love and adore... well, I have all the excuse I need. So, Friday night it was wine, ice cream, and Sam Neil's Merlin (great miniseries). Ah, what a night but I fully expected it to be bad for me when I awoke.

And it pretty much was. I weighed in 142 that morning and decided to fast till dinner. A day's worth of activity and laundry doing worked off a bit of that; I felt I had earned a small dinner and so I had one, settled down for the night, and watched some Lost in Translation (Amazing movie). I didn't snack but I knew that tomorrow some more meal skipping likely would be the case.

Sunday arrives and I didn't really sleep well; I can only surmise at this point that was because of the junk I ate Friday night working through my system. I weighed in at 141 and decided to skip breakfast. Still, I went to church and Sunday school (quite enjoyable), came back, and ate some leftover Thai food.

This is where I made a fatal mistake. This Thai food was from Thursday night, so we're batting nearly three days old at this point and it had been marinating something fierce in the fridge... I knew I probably should have just tossed it out at that point but dag gum it, it was good food Thursday night. So, I ate it and I knocked it all out.

I was not feeling well a few hours later and the pain the leftovers caused me contributed to another night of poor sleep.

Monday morning, I was a resident of Crankyville and by the afternoon I was elected it's mayor. I was not a fun person to be around and I pretty much acted very poorly towards a few people (apologies have been issued since). I didn't eat horribly Monday but I sure didn't feel like celebrating anything.

I once again didn't sleep sleep well but I did weigh in, surprisingly, at 139 that morning. I did manage to figure out how to sleep Tuesday night and held that fine to the end of the week but here I sit at 140 and really I have no explanation why. Yesterday night I didn't do anything bad spectacularly... minus the two margaritas, which might have done something but I can't fathom what. 

Here are a few keys to this week:

1. A regular meal schedule: Breakfast has once again become a staple of mine and now I'm factoring in a moderate lunch too. Three meals a day? Quite doable some days and others (where a late breakfast is needed) I don't bother. Again, lunch is not a must have meal (because breakfast is so good and dinner is so good, lunch can only be a disappointment).

2. Household chores covers a wide variety of exercise: With all the laundry I've done this past week I've gotten plenty of cardio, along with other benefits. The constant climbing of stairs and lifting of heavy laundry helps keep me fit. Playing with people also helps too and outside is a great source of fun.

3. Lack of sleep sucks: Not only does it make you irritable, cranky, and generally not fun to be around, but it also kills your mind and reflexes. Sleep is important and lack of sleep is so detrimental to the body that I don't know how some people do it on a consistent basis. I get every human being is unique but certain things have to hold true for everyone and sleep has to be one of those, right?

That's it for this week's report. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Maintenance: Week 6 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 9:35pm ·
The pattern is finally broken... but the details can wait. Here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 140

Weight Today: 140

Body Fat Last Week: 21.7 lbs/15.5%

Body Fat This Week: 21.8 lbs/15.6%

BMI Last Week: 21.5

BMI This Week: 21.5

Hello 140... this time for the second week straight. It's nice to see the number the same though how I arrived here, well, I'm not too terrible proud of. This week has not been a clean one as far as eating goes and that's not by necessity, no it was by choice.

I chose to eat poorly for half this week and really, that's on me. I had cleaner, better options and instead I caved to cravings. It happens. I'm not freaking out about it as I would have a few months back. A few months back and I would have been beating myself up for the poor decisions I made this week, but I'm not doing that this time.

Why? Primarily because I know, with certainty, that anything I did badly to myself this week I can undo next week... it's really not that big a deal anymore. I have the key and as He-Man says, "I have the POWER!!!"

But that still doesn't excuse my poor choices... it merely means there's no need to freak out about them. My poor choices boil down to giving into my cravings, particularly ice cream... I caved badly to ice cream this past Tuesday. It was a doomed mixture to begin with... ice cream, wine, and a Sean Connery movie. Awesome in small doses, but I didn't do the ice cream in a small dose.

I ate the entire container. I mean... all of it. All the ice cream things.

I felt like crap afterwards, slept poorly, felt like crap all the next day, and really was in an annoyed mode for most of Wednesday. I had to explain to the people that wanted ice cream that there was no more... for I ate it all... and it was funny, genuinely, but I felt bad about it. I deprived people of ice cream... that's not cool dude. Not cool at all.

The worst part? I didn't pay for it as badly as I should have... sure I felt like crap, was in a crap mood, and generally just wasn't functioning at peak efficiency but as far as weight goes, the scale barely moved. I got away with it. 

But that fed the beast within me... it had waited for a moment of weakness like this and it finally had it. Thursday, I feasted on crap food... I didn't lounge around, admittedly, I played a ton and had fun, thinking "Oh, I'll just undo the damage this way" but that's the Pizza with a Salad complex there... no, the damage cannot be undone based on a small thing like getting a salad or playing. It's cumulative.

And so this morning I woke up and find myself a tad bit heavier, but still in 140. Just not very low, more high 140... not really happy about it but glad it only resulted in a small gain. Still, today, I promised myself to eat cleaner (I did) and I promised myself to do some dedicated running (I did-I ran faster than usual for some reason). I was quite pleased with myself and I feel the results shall show that tomorrow.

Here are some keys to this week:

1. Exercise is always important: It cannot be emphasized enough, folks, that exercise is important. Sure, it may be less important than diet in the overall scheme of things but it's a tool that often gets put to the side because it's easy to find excuses not to do it. If my running today has reminded me of anything, it's that dedicated exercise is a good tool to have and one that should be used (though not over-used). I'm not saying make it an every day thing, we all don't have the time to do that. I am saying that when the opportunity arises don't make an excuse to NOT do it. Just do it. The good feelings it brings forth in you is well worth the effort... and it helps keep you in shape too.

2. Don't forget about relaxing: In the same breath, let me tell you that the ability to relax is something we should never take for granted. The human being faces stresses in the environment that no other thing on Earth does and we need to take the time to wind down. This can mean reading a book, catching a movie, running (like I did today), or just going to bed early. Don't overstress things because stress is killer. It makes you keep weight on (not cool) and it makes you unfun to be around (really not cool). Please take the time to relax and remember that life doesn't have to revolve around what's next; sometimes it needs to revolve around nothing.

That's it for the keys to this week and this week's report. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
Must apologize for posting this a day late... the details can wait, here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 140

Weight Today: 140

Body Fat Last Week: 21.8 lbs/15.6%

Body Fat This Week: 21.7 lbs/15.5%

BMI Last Week: 21.5

BMI This Week: 21.5

Consistency is such a beautiful thing, yes? Yes. This week was quite an interesting one as far as food goes... I did not eat clean at the beginning at all. Sunday night I enjoyed wine, peanut butter, and some cookies for dinner... it tasted great but it did throw off the readings for the next two days.

In order to make up for that transgression, I pretty much limited myself to one meal a day on Monday and Tuesday, which was quite good, and then by the time Wednesday hit things were looking back to normal. Suffice it to say, eating clean again proves how the body takes what you give it and uses it.

As far as exercise goes, this week I hardly got any. I walked a few places but nowhere exciting or far away, and I certainly didn't push myself.

It's been awhile since I updated you guys on what I can physically do though, so let me briefly cover that:

As far as pullups are concerned, I can now do three to five of them on a daily basis, a major improvement over the zero I could do when starting out months back. Chinups have also shown improvement, with me now able to do ten of those in fairly quick succession. Pushups I can also do ten of in fairly quick succession, though I feel my form still isn't quite right, it's getting there.

This week I managed to move a fridge (fully loaded with food) by myself... I found that a very exciting moment-let me state, for the record, that it did have wheels on the bottom of it so it doesn't really count but it was still exciting for me.

As far as updates go visually... well, things look pretty much the same. I *think* I'm putting on some muscle mass in the upper body but it's hard to tell. I just don't think I'm a gainer as far as muscle mass goes but the amount of things I can physically do now show that something is being done, though whether it's apparent visually is debatable.

I would like to report the shrinkage of the last, sad sack of skin that is the gut but it still lives... the skin is loose and it's ugly and there doesn't seem to be much I can do in the way to make a dent in it at the moment. Soon I'll be considering whether to force myself to do some situps (which I've always been horrible at). I know there's hardly any muscle mass to hold that skin in place though... this has been confirmed via my own eyes during my pushups, where the skin just pools into this hanging mass of horror.

Pants size wise, I'm in 28 shorts and 29 jeans for the most part. Some brands require me to go a bit lower and others a bit higher, but not alarming so. I'm still rocking the small t-shirts which seem to be bigger on me than they used to... small t-shirts, much like everything else, don't seem the size they once were.

Um... let's see, what else? Oh, yes, if you can't tell by the rambling nature of this note, I haven't really slept well the past three days. My sleep schedule has again gone whack and my theory as to why was my brain being unable to turn off... but it did turn off last night. I still woke up feeling more tired than when I went to bed. My next theory is my knee, which has been achy these past three days but perhaps it's a cause and not a symptom as I originally thought.

Suffice it to say, I'm tired. Again, let me emphasize the need for good sleep. It's really that important.

That's about it for this week's report. As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and God Bless.
***
My Weight Maintenance: Week 8 Report
by Zach Johnson on Friday, August 31, 2012 at 9:38am ·
This week has been one of extremes. We'll get to the details in a moment, but here's the bottom line.

Weight Last Week: 140

Weight Today: 140

Body Fat Last Week: 21.7 lbs/15.5%

Body Fat This Week: 21.7 lbs/15.5%

BMI Last Week: 21.5

BMI This Week: 21.5


Look... it's the same! Yes, I managed to stay on the mark and keep that mark this week, but there was serious doubt as to whether I would make it. This week has been a battle and made me yearn for times when merely running a deficit (and losing weight) was my goal. That seemed easier than what transpired this week. 

Since last Wednesday I have been struggling mightily to get sleep. Ive been averaging around 5-6 hours of sleep for a little over a week now and I'm not in great shape. The body is, understandably, not performing up to specs. I've tried plenty of things to get me to sleep and I've had no success with any.

Something in my head demands I stay awake-that would be my brain-while the rest of me demands I sleep. It's pretty much a battle where neither side can win and both are too darn stubborn to give in. This lack of sleep has impacted the body in pretty noticeable ways.

Eating would be the first one. Sunday, around lunch, I had some leftover Thai food but had the brilliant idea (stupid idea) to throw a chunk of cheese atop it to make it taste amazing. Well... it did taste good. But my body was very much NOT pleased with the cheese and my gallbladder locked up tighter than a vault door at Fort Knox.

I was in pain and a lot of it. Felt like I had to puke and did in fact puke for a few hours... not pretty, as one can imagine, and the Thai spices burn like nothing else on the way back up (probably TMI, but I'm so tired I don't care right now).

The end result was me weighing in a spectacular 138 Monday morning. I was really, really, empty. I haven't seen 138 in two months or so, and seeing that number staring me back in the face... it was tempting to just go ahead and say "You know what, I'll aim for 130" and I could have easily aimed for that, gotten there, and stayed there.

But I didn't want that. 140 is good for me and I've grown attached to the number. I set forth Monday to eat myself back up to 140; three bowls of oatmeal, buttered toast, and a bowl of cereal later... and I was pretty much done for the day. I felt like crap, admittedly, but I was alive.

Tuesday rolls around and I'm back at 139. Good, progress... so I make myself Banana bread and eat that. As usual with my banana bread, I ate more of it than I intended (I always feel like such a pig when I eat my own cooked things) but others ate it, enjoyed it, and I managed to make it last till Wednesday night.

Wednesday rolls around and I'm back at 140. I'm pleased, have myself some more banana bread, but by this point I've gone pretty much a solid week without good sleep. I can function on 5-6 hours of sleep but I certainly can't LIVE on it... there's a difference between functioning and living; this week has been proof enough of that.

I wasn't in a great frame of mind Wednesday-sleep deprivation, plus depressing writing, plus frustration (due to lack of sleep) had taken it's toll on my mental state. Wednesday night, I caved in to all these things and ate up a storm. A bag of popcorn, some banana bread, two bowls of oatmeal, some ice cream, and some pork rinds later... well, I was pretty darned full.

I was hoping that all that food would knock me out into a coma. Instead, I got more of the same.

And now I was 143 by Thursday morning. Majorly displeased with myself, I fasted yesterday. Fasting is not a horrible, horrible thing... it doesn't require worry on anyone's part. But, the people in the house, they worried, one even stating that "Not eating means you're gonna DIE!" (He seemed very excited about that prospect... hmm)

I skipped out on food yesterday though and caught up on some house chores (laundry mostly). As a result of yesterday's fast I weighed in this morning at 140. Not bad considering where I was yesterday morning.

As a result of all that has gone on this week I've been banned from cheese as the people in the house don't want to risk nastiness from my gallbladder. I can't blame them though cheese and I go way back... we will probably see one another again.

And that's it for this week. Not groundbreaking by any means but hopefully the lessons I learned (primarily about cheese and Thai food-just say no) might make a difference to you. Thanks for reading, as always any and all comments are welcome. Stay tuned and God Bless.




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