COXCJ77   13,266
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Being stretched too thin, getting fat as a result

Monday, December 05, 2011

New daily routine: wake up late after hitting the snooze way too many times, rush to get my hair washed and find some clothes for work, try to remember which part time job is after work, go through work all day, rush to part-time job, scarf down fast food from somewhere on the way, work part time job, drive home, see what laundry or dishes or home maintenance needs to be done before I go to bed, finally go to bed, repeat ad infinitum.

Note that at no point in that schedule does it show ďgymĒ, ďrunĒ, ďexerciseĒ, etc. Thatís because itís not there. It hasnít been there since October. And, it shows! This morning I got on the scale and it went up to 199.0 (hovered at 199.5 for a while, but thankfully settled below that). If it wasnít for the fact that I was already running late for the day, I would probably have stopped to cry. I see the whole vicious cycle starting all over again. (Lose weight, wife loses job, money/time shrinks, gain weight back with new ones coming along for the ride.) Add on top of all that the fact that Iím putting in more hours between the 3 jobs and I never get to see my kids, even though we live in the same house. I am so sleepy and out of it when I leave the house in the mornings that I very rarely remember to bring my lunch, let alone anything to eat between jobs.

So, what do I do now? How do I fit proper nutrition and exercise into a 90+ hour work week? I donít really know the answers and donít expect you to provide them to me. This is more of a vent for my frustration than anything else. I really want to be healthy, really want to have more ďmeĒ time, but right now itís not about what I want. Itís about what my family needs. Right now itís about doing my best to make ends meet. My only hope is that ALL of the work I did to get where I was is not lost in this battle.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1DERLAND14 1/5/2014 10:38PM

    My heart goes out to you... take it day by day and do the best you can with what you have!

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TRACYZABELLE 2/5/2012 11:57PM

    If I followed my own advice, I would not be seeking surgery as a tool at this time. I have heard that every hour it is good to get up and move if you have a sedentary job-- there are desk exercises here at spark that can help too-- as I sit I am pumping my feet and moving my arms-- any movement is better than none right? Good luckl

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MERLINANDME 2/5/2012 8:58PM

    Your days sound soooo difficult. I do not know how to do it with your full plate. Can I suggest that you look at your order when you grab that fast food? There are egg white sandwiches at Subway and Dunkin Donuts. There are Grilled Chicken Snack Wraps with mustard dressing at McDonald's. Some of the fast food places are attempting to meet the healthy diet needs of some of us.

The workout is really hard when you have absolutely no time. Maybe if you can fit in two or three ten minutes sessions each day you can begin to feel some control.

You have come so far. I understand how great that feels. Right now I am sitting on a 150 pound loss. And I am holding it off. I lost it once before but put it back on, and I learned I have to be vigilant to keep it off.

But I have much better circumstances to do it in than you have. For you it is extra effort with every pound. But you have a motivator I do not have. You have your wife and three kids, all who need you strong and healthy to be there to love them and care for them. Your health matters because if you are not healthy everybody loses.

I wish you the very best of everything.

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BBONET 12/5/2011 8:40PM

    Just breathe and try to think of yourself also. We all have these times in our lives, but we need to remember that if you don't think if yourself you may end up hurting everything in the long run. So take 10 and stop and smell the roses!! emoticon

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DOCZIP 12/5/2011 3:27PM

    I do not have an answer for you. I am just starting and figuring out how to make weight loss work. I would presume too much to give advice on losing weight.

Given all that you have accomplished, I believe you have all of the answers. But, I imagine that it is buried beneath the stress, worry, excessive work, responsibilities....

The only piece of advice I can give you is: take a deep breath. I find that, when I am stressed out over work, long hours, family, finances, I am often my worst enemy. I will unconsciously sabotage myself and make things worse upon myself. I have found that most problems, even complex, exhausting, and difficult issues like you are facing, have solution. But, the first step is taking a deep breath, stepping back, and recognizing it can be managed. The next step is getting it done.

Hope everything works out. Best of luck.

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DEC2DEC 12/5/2011 3:17PM

    There are a few times of the year where my schedule gets crazy like that. Sometimes you have to prioritize other things, which means some things get moved further down the list.

The question is how long is that okay? If it's for a few weeks, and you're able to rebound after, it's probably okay. If it's longer, you need to sit down, figure out what your real priorities are, and then plan a strategy for making it happen.

Good luck!

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MKBOELE 12/5/2011 2:50PM

    CJ - I'm so sorry you are going through all this right now - it does not sound like fun situation in the least. I know it is not my place to question, but how is your wife dealing with all this? I'm sure she is trying to keep life fairly normal, look for a new job and all that - while trying to fill in for you with all the kids stuff, but is there anyway she can maybe help you out some too? Again - I have no idea of her situation, and may be way out of line, but if my hubby had just done the amazing task of losing all that weight, and then is able to work 3 jobs to keep us going when I lose my job and have to work hard to find a new one, in the meantime, I am going to do everything I can to help him out -#1) Make sure there is nothing around the house he needs to do when he gets home exhausted from his second job and #2) make/pack his lunches/meals for him so he can still eat healthy when he isn't able to go to the gym. I hope this isn't too forward of me - but could you ask for her to help you out a little? Sounds like you have every reason to need to vent and I wish you the best in figuring it out! I may be in your situation soon - so if you think of any reasonable fixes - please share!

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WHATEVR411 12/5/2011 2:40PM

    Hang in there CJ. You will find solutions to the problems and obstacles you're running into. Get back to basics and find one small thing you can do to make your day more healthy. Best wishes to you and your family.

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WOUBBIE 12/5/2011 1:16PM

    *sigh* Your plate sure is full - and not so much in a good way.

I don't have a complete answer, but I CAN recommend one free resource that (like Sparkpeople) can help make at least one area of your life a lot easier. is a great website. It originally started as a housekeeping group, but it's way more than that now.

The part that you might be interested in? FlyLady (aka Marla Cilley) has three routines that the day revolves around and that are not negotiable. The most important is the Before Bed routine. No matter how tired you are you do at least these things:

1.Clean kitchen sink
2.Lay out clothes for tomorrow
3.Brush teeth

If you can you add these:

4.Check calendar for tomorrow
5.Put all the things you need in your "launch pad" (designated spot by the door)
6.Plan/make lunch (she would also plan dinner, but that's hopefully not also on your chore list!)

Every bit of stress you can cut from your day is a blessing!

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Break-time is over, back to work!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Here's some back story to get from where I was to where I am:

From the end of April to the end of August I had managed to do a very good job maintaining the weight that I have lost. Then the minor tragedy struck, and my wife lost her job. We had been struggling with bills before she lost her job, so now we're drowning. Then, on top of that, her boss was able to fight the unemployment and win, so we have nothing coming in from her side. So, September saw us leaking money like the busted pipe in our basement (another fun bill that we couldn't live without). My wife is applying for jobs everywhere and I start applying for part time jobs. We were doing anything to make money come in. I must be the lucky one, because I was hired for 2 part time jobs before she had 2 interviews.

That brings us to the beginning of this week. I'm now working 3 jobs. I haven't been to the gym in almost a week. One of the part time jobs is a pizza place, and they let me eat anything I want while I'm there, and I can even take some home. Although it has been extremely helpful because of the hit we took on the food budget, it's been terrible for my waistline. I may not have a gluten intolerance, but my weight always goes up when my carb amounts do. So, I made a very difficult decision. I refuse to let my hard work go out the window because of the state of my personal economy.

Although it's not a great decision, I was able to open a new credit card. Just thinking about saying that turns my stomach because I despise the idea of going further into debt. But, there's a method to my madness. I am working over 90 hours a week between my 3 jobs, and will be able to pay off the card quickly. This card is going to be my food and gas money card. This morning I was able to stop at the grocery store and pick up my healthy breakfast and snack foods, and then during my lunch break today I will go to the other store for my typical work lunch foods.

So, I went from 173 back up to 191 as of this morning. I refuse to go higher. I will not go back to where I was. The break is over. I'm back to work. Who's with me????

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERSEYFLOWER 10/25/2011 11:16AM

    My friend, you've got to do what you've got to do. It sounds to me like you are making smart decisions in the face of difficulty. And, looking at the positive, your Spark journey has made you a healthier and stronger provider. You have the energy for three jobs *because* of your hard work. You can do this. Thinking of you...

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WOUBBIE 10/25/2011 9:24AM

    I hope things start looking up for you soon - and I hope that boss experiences a little "downturn" of his or her own!

I always mention to low-carbers that pizza shop food isn't forbidden, just the crust is. When my kids get pizza now I just order a couple extra slices and toss the bread. It's not the most filling part anyway.

Hang in there!

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Reflections on the last year

Monday, May 02, 2011

I needed to do something, anything, really. I walked into the gym out of shape, miserable, lost, probably even hopeless. I didnít know what I was going to do, only that I had to start doing something before it was too late. That day was June 5, 2010. At 286 pounds of gelatinous mess, that was the day I committed to taking my life back. Amazingly enough, it seems like it was so long ago and so recent at the same time. I knew that there would be sacrifices. I gave up some time with my kids, eventually finding a schedule that was able to get me to the gym and still have time at home when the kids were awake. I had to give up on some of my favorite TV shows. But, sacrifice is part of the deal. I committed.

Fast forward 329 days. April 30, 2011. I walk into the same gym. I had one last thing to do. I had to weigh in for the weight loss challenge. I made a goal of losing a total of 106 pounds because that was the weight of all 3 of my kids combined. I get on the scale as I think about what Iíve accomplished up to that point. My pants size dropped from a 46 to a 30. My ďXXXLĒ shirts are now replaced with ďMĒ shirts. My doctor was floored when she saw the changes on my latest blood work. Iím as healthy as can be expected. Iím fairly certain that Iím in the best shape of my life. Back to the scale, Iím shooting for 180. Iím so nervous, but I know Iím going to be ok. The numbers flicker. 173 is the final number. I beat my goal. I crushed it. And, I was able to do it in less than a year.

Was there a secret? Itís not really a secret. I did what I was told. I had a food log of everything I ate, including the good, bad & ugly. I had a calorie burn I needed to reach every week. Some weeks were better than others. I avoided the temptations most of the time. When I fell, I got back up. I didnít sit on the ground and pout. I didnít give up. I had the support of all of my friends on SparkPeople, who would daily strengthen my resolve. I have 3 beautiful children at home counting on me. I have an amazing wife that deserves more than a couch potato that would likely follow down the family path of heart problems and short lives. It started out all about me, but the picture grew. Itís about them as well as me. In the end, I think itís also about you. I hope that you look at me and realize Iím not on a TV star, biggest loser or anything like that. Iím a normal guy that follows the instructions of the professionals. Thatís the secret. You can do it too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 2/5/2012 11:49PM

    You have done an amazing job! Congratulations!

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HURRICANEWHIT 10/19/2011 8:14PM

    wow...just stumbled upon this and it is truly inspiring! your journey reminds us all that we mere mortals can do this too, with commitment and consistency and old-fashioned hard work. thank you for sharing!

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PAMLUVCHILE 7/6/2011 10:56AM

    Thanks so much...that was really inspirational. You should be so proud of yourself, and I know that your family is happy too. emoticon

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    I'm new to SP, so have only just come become aware of your achievement and I am so impressed!

Your family are very lucky to have someone who is such a strong person in their lives.

Well done!

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JMKINNEY 6/8/2011 1:16PM

    Congratulations!!! Way to go!!! I'm sure your family is proud of you!!

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JERSEYFLOWER 5/19/2011 9:43PM

    Fantastic blog, CJ. You are amazing.

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ALLEY2300 5/2/2011 12:55PM

    CJ, What a great blog! I hope you accomplish even more! So sorry you didn't win the challenge, but, WOW! look what you have done! I hope you continue with us, I love your questions of the day! You are such an inspiration to us!

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MKBOELE 5/2/2011 12:26PM

    Sorry you didn't win the challenge - that 10 grand would have been nice- but a happy, healthy you is priceless! So you are still a winner in so many ways! Congrats on all you have accomplished!

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    WOW--you deserve to be very proud. You're right, there's no secret, unless the secret is that it's hard work every single day of your life. And you have done it! You gave your family many more years of YOU--and that is the most precious gift of all!

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302 days down, 27 more to go

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Just looking at the title makes it really sink in just how far along the journey I have come. This is truly the home stretch. I have 27 days to drop at least another 9.5 lbs, and preferably more if I can do it. 4/30 is the hard deadline because of the challenge going on at my gym. I want to cap off all the hard work with the title of most improved, biggest loser, whatever you want to call it.

So, with the end of the month as the finish line, I can see the light and am putting all my effort to finishing the race strong. Time for better logging of all my food, time to ramp up the workouts, and time to get a tan for the end of challenge picture.

To all of you that read this (I hope there's more than just me), I hope I can be an example to you. Through hard work and dedication, and most of all, TIME, you have the power to reach your goal and feel so much better inside and out. Happy wishes on your journey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHATEVR411 4/3/2011 5:06PM

    Congrats to you on coming so far and making so much progress. I'm sure you are an inspiration to many! It's great you're giving it your all for the last 27 days. Best wishes! emoticon

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Sabotage, thy name is pizza buffet

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

7 months, 67 pounds . . . great accomplishment, right? Iím not so sure. The heart is willing but the flesh is weak.

I started out on this journey because I wanted to make a lifestyle change. I wanted to make sure that I am healthy, not only so I donít end up in an early grave, but also because I want to do the right things for my family, you know, show the kids that being fat is not the option they want to strive for.

Yesterday I realized that Iím not sure it really has been a lifestyle change, but more likely just a diet. There have been some significant changes to my life that I have made, but the earth shattering part for me is that I have done a great disservice to myself when it comes to what goes into my mouth. What Iíve been doing over the last 7 months is deprivation, eating food that is healthy but not food I want to eat, not food I like. The case in point is the one pizza place that my family loves to go. Itís an all you can eat pizza buffet where my whole family can eat for less than $25. Thatís HUGE for me because budget is everything and we can hardly make a meal at home for less than that. Last night we went there to celebrate my youngest daughterís 2nd birthday (mostly because we canít have people over to our house, but thatís a different story). We get there; I get everyone settled and grab a couple slices of pizza. Then I go back for the salad. Then I go back for a couple more slices, then a couple more, then a couple more . . . Followed by several slices of the dessert pizza.

What the hell is wrong with me??? My brain says I should have stopped with the first couple pieces of pizza and the salad. But, thatís not what I wanted. I wanted more! I wanted to try this one and that one and the one over there, and then go back for more because they just brought out a fresh one. Even as I go back for my second plate of dessert, I tell my wife that I have no will power. Is it because the food isnít part of the ďdietĒ or just me being defiant, or the need for something that tastes good? I donít know. What I do know is that it means Iím strong enough to make good decisions when temptation is there. Iím scared. Iím a food addict and it scares the daylight out of me because itís not a drug you can live without. At least thereís still 360 days left in the new year. Thereís still time to make this a happy one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNWYNN 1/5/2011 8:29PM

    I used to beat myself up about this, but no more. I overdo sometimes, too. Hey, this was ONE MEAL! One slip up at one meal here does not make you a bad person. Are you motivated to lose your weight and be fit and healthy? Of course you are! The problem was that the other day, the motivation to eat a lot of pizza was a little stronger.

But I do see your point. If you failed this miserably at this one meal, you tend to look at the possibility of being a food-crazed zombie at every meal. Deep down, you know that's really not going to happen, don't you?

Please don't look at yourself as a failure! A pitcher gives up a home run to the opposing team...and even though he's won 16 games already this year, is he labeled a failure for that one lousy hit? Of course not! Time to get your game face back on. YOU CAN DO THIS. You've proven it with your fantastic weight-loss already. You recognize the "food monster" within. You're the boss, believe it or not. I have faith in you!

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BEARCLAW6 1/5/2011 10:48AM

    For some of us, pizza is like a big warm hug from mommy. Most of us have years and years of habits, cravings, and wants that need changing. This isn't going to happen in 7 months. It sounds like you binged once in 7 months. That is a great accomplishment. Binging once or twice a year while you are trying to change a lifetime of habits is way better than most people. Just don't kick yourself about it.

Now, the next time you find yourself around lots of cheap pizza, just eat the cheese and toppings. Sometimes that is hard to do because the toppings can be stuck to the bread, but do the best you can. You are reaching a point where you do need to be thinking about how to eat for the rest of your life and that may include some pizza. Consider this a chance to learn limits with trigger foods. Say to yourself before you go in...I will eat the toppings off of 4 pieces of pizza and that is it. Later on, this inner thought might include eating the crust, too, but probably not yet. Also, definitely eat that salad first, so you stay in control.

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FANGFACEKITTY 1/5/2011 10:33AM

    I'm there with you, especially since pizza is one of my trigger foods. What works best for me is 1) don't go to the all you can eat places; 2) bring it home instead so the opportunity to over-indulge is limited; 3) in advance give the people I'm with permission to call me out on my behaviour - "public" embarrassment/accountability can sometimes stop the over-indulgence.

ions on your successes so far & keep up the good work. Don't let one mistake sabotage everything you've worked so hard for.

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