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Starting Over, and Letting Go

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today, I reset my starting weight to where I currently am: 311 lbs. I was down to 302 a couple of months ago, just about to break through that 300 wall, when, as a good Baptist would say, I ďbackslid.Ē Money got tight because we had to buy a car when our old one decided to finally give up the ghost, and then came the most stressful time of the year at work. All of this, compounded with my own weakness and a well-deserved, but fatty food-filled vacation led to where I am now: 311 lbs.

Since I lost all the weight last year, our lives have changed completely, with the shift from college students back to working professionals. Weíre living in a new place, trying to find who we are and figure out so many things that itís hard to focus on weight loss. And Iíve come to realize that for me, it really isnít about being ďhealthier.Ē I wish I could be happy with just knowing Iím being healthy, but I really canít. I need to be losing weight to maintain my resolve, and the lack of positive movement in that regard over the last 8 months or so has really thrown up a wall Ė A wall Iím going to have to break down before I can make any progress on breaking through into the 200ís.

So, I made the choice to leave the weight I lost behind. Iíve reset my starting weight and my goal, and Iím going to work on those, and not obsess over where I could have been, or should have been by now. The serenity prayer is perfect in this situation. I canít change who I could have been by now, but I can change who I am from here, and thatís exactly what Iím going to do.


As a side note: Pictures from our huge vacation are up on my flickr, if you'd like to see! www.flickr.com/photos/corgandane/set

We were incredibly excited to go, as we've been married 11 years, and have never had either a honeymoon or a real vacation. We went to Philadelphia, Boston, Upstate New York, Niagara Falls, and Cleveland -- making a huge loop by car over 10 days. It was amazing. We fell in love with Massachusetts, particularly the area north of Boston around Ipswich and Crane Beach. I wouldn't be surprised if we move there, someday, and escape the midwest once and for all. emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 7/31/2013 8:10PM

    Glad you're back.

Boston is my home town...I'm actually here on vacation right now, in Andover, right by the New Hampshire border. Next time you're here, go to Gloucester and Rockport

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

I posted this on my Facebook last night, but thought I would share it here as well:

"I wrote tonight, a whole paragraph. Yes, one paragraph, but I think it's a pretty good one.

When I finished that paragraph, I started thinking about how disappointed I am in myself for not writing more. I'm too easily distracted by video games, tv, the Internet, and my own defeatist attitude.

The realization I came to is that this eerily mirrors my lifelong weight problem. It was always easier to eat what was there and whatever I wanted instead of planning out meals and drinking water. I've finally taken control of that problem through my lifestyle change: an informed, purposeful diet, exercise when possible, and moderation, all of which have already helped me lose 28 lbs. so far.

In response to that revelation, I've decided I'm going to treat writing exactly as if it were my weight-loss plan. I'll make it a priority, take the time, and write little chunks. If I can write just one paragraph at a time, one each day, in a year that's 365 paragraphs, which is a good chunk of a novel or a complete short story collection

Right now, I weigh every Friday morning. To lock in my new "writing diet," from this moment on, every Friday I'll be posting an update on Facebook with both the amount of weight I've lost each week and the number of words written.

I can do this."

I think I'll do that same here on Spark as my status update each Friday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PIPSANDMSMAMA79 1/25/2013 11:11PM

    AWESOME!! That is how I've been feeling. Every part of my life seems to be a mess, so I was thinking that if I could pull at least one thing together and make it important, than the rest will hopefully follow suit. I'm so glad to hear that you're making an effort in both healthy lifestyle and writing. Keep up the good work emoticon

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MNJONES2 1/24/2013 12:05PM

    YES YOU CAN!! I admire your purposeful attitude and goal setting!!

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Chapter 10

Monday, January 07, 2013

*The writer intrudes*

For the sake of clarity, I've decided take over the story myself, as it's gotten a bit silly making this all into a fictional story.

First, I'm back, as you may have noticed. I've been back on my plan for about 5 days now, and it's going well. It took me longer than I hoped to get back into the swing of things, but with the example and encouragement of my lovely wife Munkybug, I'm back in the game.

The number one reason it took me so long to get back? Procrastination. It's so easy to put things off another day, and another, and another, waiting for life to settle down. That's not to say life hasn't been messy and outside my comfort zone for the past six or seven months. The first change was graduating from college, followed by a two-step move, then a job search, then adjusting to working full time again.

In a lot of ways, that's been the most difficult change. While still in college we were living off loans and small part time jobs, which, between classes left plenty of time to stop and go for walks, spend time counting calories, etc. I used to get up and walk to campus or at least walk from class to class. I even rode my bike regularly when the weather was nice, and followed Munkybug as she worked on her shift from sitting on the couch to running a 5k.

Now, I get up, get in the car, go to work, sit behind a computer all day, then reverse the process. I get home around 6pm after my commute, and then sit at a computer or on the couch. I miss my pedestrian lifestyle, but living where we do and working where I do makes that an impossibility.

Our apartment complex has a small workout room with a couple of treadmills, an elliptical, etc., but I haven't been taking advantage of that, which is something that needs to change. I'd like to get a treadmill for our apartment because I know I'd be more likely to walk that way, but for the moment that's not a possibility due to cost and limited space.

So, here is my resolution, my first step in procrastination: To begin walking when I get home. It's a challenge to make myself do it. It's a cold, dark walk down to the workout room but it's something that I need to do, and so, I'm going to go for the first time tonight and walk at least for 30 minutes.

I'm doing pretty well with the dietary side of things. After starting back in on tracking my nutrition, I always have what I call "Hungry Days." On those days it seems like I can't fulfill my stomach's requirements, but I know it's only temporary. I had one of those yesterday, but today is looking much better. It's just a matter of patience and perseverance.

None of this is helped by the fact that my job is inherently stressful. Thousands of dollars which go to directly help others are dependent on my ability to get things done. If I mess up on a project, I don't lose income for a board of directors or investors. If I mess up, people go hungry or have to sleep on the street, and that weighs on me heavily with every new grant application that appears on the horizon. I don't mean to sound whiny. I enjoy my work on a great many levels, and the stress is just one of the things I have to take into account as I face the dragon of procrastination.

I want to thank you all who are my friends on here, for leading by example. We don't talk, or hang out, but you're always there, even when I slip off the horse and get lost for a while. I've gained back some of what I lost, but I know I can lose it again if I can slay my own procrastination and discomfort, and push on. I don't want to do it. I NEED to do it -- for my own good, as well as for Munkybug, everyone who loves me, and my future.

So wish me luck out in the cold and dark tonight as I wander down to the workout room. No, don't wish me luck. Wish me determination.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 1/8/2013 10:34PM

    I've been waiting for chapter 10! It's great to have you back. I had a hard time adjusting from college to post-college too, and everything felt new at once. I think your walking goal is realistic and attainable, but you might want a plan B in case of rain or snow or ice ;) Good luck, and keep us posted!

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/8/2013 8:17PM

    Well, well the author steps out from the pages of the novel! welcome!

Yeah, there's no straight line to weight loss or healthy living. Lifestyle changes especially get in the way of our plans and good habits.

I've learned, through much trial and error, that my job is always going to keep me busy.....and I don't get any less busy as I pick up more responsibilities. Therefore, I have to schedule workout time, either during the work day (mostly lunch) or after work before I get home. Once I walk in to the house, it's game over; I know I won't make it to the gym. So I duck over to the gym first, then go home.

Find what works for you.....it's all one big experiment where we learn bu trial and error....perseverance and determination count for a lot!

Comment edited on: 1/8/2013 8:18:47 PM

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MNJONES2 1/8/2013 11:16AM

    So glad to read chapter 10 - so glad you are back!! I too had some wanderings in the past few months. Your plan to walk after work sounds great and I know you will be successful.

Your job helping others is wonderful - we need more people like you. Dont worry about mistakes just do your best every day. Maybe you can devise some sort of check off system before you finalize a grant application - that helped me a lot when I worked.

Have a happy healthy 2013.

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PIPSANDMSMAMA79 1/7/2013 4:49PM

    I have also slipped off the horse and am dissapointed with myself, but that dissapointment will get me nowhere if I don't do something about it. I am so glad you're back on here wanting to continue! I know that we've never met, but I do think of you and your lovely wife and hope ya'll are doing well on your journies. January of a new year is the best time to begin anew. You can do it! I know its hard when you work so hard and have limited time to yourself. Maybe you can also find ways to do small things while at the desk? I know I read an article about that somewhere? Good luck to you! You should tell Munkeybug that I'd love to read how she has been doing as well :)

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Chapter 9

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It had been a very strange couple of weeks. J.T. had grown used to traveling a certain distance each day, set into a routine that worked. He accomplished, and generally exceeded, his goals each week and was doing well.

Then came the great upheaval.

An unavoidable detour forced him off the path and through the countryside, disrupting his pace and generally making things harder. Out of his comfort zone, J.T. fell into bad habits. He was waylaid by a band of Coca-Cola ruffians and for a time was captured in a White Castle, where he made the regretful decision to eat far too many of their steam-cooked delights and rings of chicken.

He escaped briefly back to his good path, but a few days later was detoured again, tossing him right back into danger. Finally, after one last assault by bratwurst and other barbecued villains, he stumbled back into the clear. The detour had circled around, pushing him backward a few pounds, but he knew all he could do was press on, and make up for lost time.

He knew that despite it all, the detour could be a very good thing in the long run. Only time would tell. Feeling hopeful, he peeled a banana, and headed back down the road.

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PROT358 6/6/2012 1:10AM

    You show those White Castle ruffians and barbequed villians who's boss! Glad to hear you're back on the straight and narrow!

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MNJONES2 5/30/2012 4:37PM

    YES! Keep on the road to good health! YOU CAN DO IT! Don't let those coca-cola ruffians keep you off the road!!

Love to hear about your progress and as always best wishes to you!

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Chapter 8

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The road took a few turns as the days passed. J.T stopped along the way to attend a retreat for writers like himself, and spent a weekend surrounded by friends and the craft that he loved. He was without any connection to the outside world, beyond a few fleeting messages he was able to send to his beloved Munkybug. He returned home having eaten and drunk his fill, afraid to tally up the calories he had consumed. Instead of a terrible overage, though, he found that heíd managed to lose yet another pound, which gave him hope that he could maintain his pace.

The week following, he did his best to get back on the path, resuming his previous pace, but it was hard to get back in the movement of things. Still, he did his best, but more than one he stumbled over the simplest things in the road Ė a candy bar here, an ice cream sandwich there.

Then he developed an unsettling sickness that lasted only a few days. At first he believed he was beset by seasonal allergies, but it persisted, weakening his body and resolve over the weekend. In his misery, he went back to his old ways, eating to make himself feel better, because he was bored, because he was ill. In the midst of his sickness he weighed to stay on schedule, and fell into a slight depression, seeing that his munching had moved him back more than a pound.

Instead of letting the unfortunate gain hold him back, he determined that he would do better, and with his sickness fading, he stepped back onto the road, and kept going.

Only fifteen pounds to go until he would reach his first goal.

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GETSTRONGRRR 5/21/2012 9:01PM

    Carry on stalwart warrior!

Fix your determined gaze on that 15 lb goal, roll your shoulders back, thrust your chin up high, and let nothing deter you from that worthy prize!

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MNJONES2 5/15/2012 4:53PM

    YOU CAN DO IT!! Only 15 lbs to the first goal -- wow!! We are all cheering for you!!

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