MONTANA_ED's SparkPeople Blog MONTANA_ED's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community It's never easy When I started my weight loss journey back in 2010 - I didn't really know what I was getting in to. I know I wanted to lose weight and I didn't have the tools or the knowledge. <BR> <BR> Spark helped with that. Along with Google. I learned a lot. I learned that I need to set realistic goals. I found out that I needed to MOVE with exercise. And the biggest thing I learned was why it was so hard to keep the weight off. All those fat cells that were happily reproducing in my body don't g... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 11:32:59 EST Who should I blame for not losing weight? I think I should blame someone, right? That is how things work. I need to blame someone for me not being able to lose weight. <BR> <BR> Maybe I can blame my parents. That makes sense. They are the ones that put me on this path. Oh, but wait. I looked at pictures of me when I was a kid at home and I was healthy and happy. <BR> <BR> Ok, how about blaming my body. I mean, it is the thing that is keeping me at this weight. I can't fight how my body is. But now that I think of it, I was... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 11:40:56 EST A poem I forgot I wrote this some time ago until I "found" it again today. <BR> ------------- <BR> I locked away the thinner me <BR> <BR> I locked away the thinner me <BR> So many years ago <BR> I forgot how I used to be <BR> It became the status quo <BR> <BR> I put all others before myself <BR> And became the jolly fat man <BR> My health sat on a shelf <BR> With no future in the plan <BR> <BR> But then I awoke <BR> And realized something dear <BR> My life had become a joke <BR> And nothing was e... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 14:58:03 EST Play the numbers and win! I love the new SP app and layout. I was on this site a long time ago and now it makes it so much easier to watch my numbers. <BR> <BR> Of course it's really only one number - 3500. The magic number that can add or take away poundage from my body. To lose a pound a week, I just need to cut 500 calories a day. That is less that ONE big mac, without fries and a drink! On the flip side, you would have to eat 29 CUPS of tossed salad to get close to 500. <BR> <BR> When people say that they... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 09:02:20 EST It's OK to feel hungry Yesterday I was at work and in the morning about an hour after I got there I thought I was hungry. It was false. I don't know when my body started doing this, but I "thought" I was hungry an hour after I had already eaten. <BR> <BR> How silly is that? I just dug into my work more and drank some water and the feeling went away. Then around lunch time I really WAS hungry. After I had my lunch, I did it again and an hour later I felt like I needed to eat again. <BR> <BR> I don't need snac... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 13:35:17 EST Been a while, but I'm still here Although I hadn't been that active on Spark - I'm still around! <BR> <BR> I have a new push to lose weight. I have to have a new knee and after talking with my doctor, she advised that I get some poundage off. So, I'm setting a goal to have the surgery next fall, and with that will be a lot less of me. I just KNOW I can do it. I did it before and I will do it again. <BR> <BR> Going to the gym can be painful for me sometimes, but I just power through it. I know the end result will be ... Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:10:04 EST This really DOES work! For a long time I was concerned that my weight loss just wasn't going anywhere. Heck, I still feel that it should be faster or something. However, I just had my yearly fitness thing done at the office and let me share some numbers with you. <BR> <BR> Last years weight - 378. <BR> This year - 351 <BR> <BR> Last years waist girth - 57 inches <BR> This year - 55 <BR> <BR> Last years blood pressure - 154/90 <BR> This year - 134/86 <BR> <BR> But here is the kicker... <BR> <BR> Last years BM... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 10:31:33 EST It's like riding a bike Yesterday I was helping a newbie at the gym. I asked her if she was there in the trial basis. She told me that she dove in all the way with a full membership. I congratulated her and said "It's like riding a bike or driving a car. You don't just "kinda" do it part way." <BR> <BR> Then I started thinking about that analogy of losing weight compared to riding a bike. <BR> <BR> When you first start riding a bike, you don't just jump on and take off with the slightest of ease. <BR> <BR> Th... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:48:05 EST And life is going on Although I haven't been as active on SP - I DO check in every day. Life has kept me very busy. My wonderful wife has gotten me out on to the road and we had visited 3 national parks, and put on many, many miles on my Avalon. I've seen LOTS of the country and love it. (OK - I-80 across NV isn't my favorite anymore.) <BR> <BR> Along with travels, I have also been keeping up with the working out in the gym. My wife joined shortly after I did. Our work schedules keep us from being there at... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 16:42:50 EST Lost focus but not the Spark I'm chagrined to admit that my weight has gone back up. Not to the original level mind you, but I've gained back half of what I had lost. <BR> <BR> I KNOW that a healthy lifestyle isn't like going on a diet. There is no end to it. I also know that I have been less than diligent with my food. Heck, I've even been slacking on exercise. Then there is that slight change in my life that I'll be married soon. <BR> <BR> Despite all this, I haven't lost my Spark. I know what I need to do, I j... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 11:38:31 EST Life updates Wow - it is so amazing to me how life can change so quickly. <BR> <BR> At the end of December things changed up for me in a hurry. Going back several months previous, I had a couple of friends tell me about someone that they thought would be a good friend for me. So, I started emailing with Ruby. <BR> <BR> She seemed nice, and over time we became good friends. Then, at the end of December she flew up from California to visit me in Montana. At that first meeting we just clicked. It's ... Sat, 4 Feb 2012 17:28:59 EST Believe in yourself - believe in your spark I have to start out by saying that I didn't want to go to the gym tonight. <BR> <BR> Last Saturday was my office Christmas party. I have to admit that I did great on not eating a lot, and I drank water and juice the whole night. The thing I did do is dance. I love to dance and I really don't care who is watching. Every time I sat down, I got pulled on to the floor by someone else. <BR> <BR> Sunday - my left knee was bothering me. I mean, it was swollen and SORE! I iced it and had tro... Fri, 16 Dec 2011 22:13:10 EST I did WHAT? SO - last night I had my dinner and I had a hankering for a toasted cheese sandwich. Yes, I know - this was ON TOP of my dinner, but I just had that craving, yano? <BR> <BR> And I made one. That tasted good, so I made another. Before THAT one was done, I made a third. <BR> <BR> Three toasted cheese sandwiches. Not a big deal, right? <BR> <BR> Wrong. By the time you add the butter (gotta have butter), the cheese, and the bread, I was at a whopping 1500 calories! <BR> <BR> Yikes! <... Wed, 30 Nov 2011 14:25:05 EST Realizations and disappointments Ah, this morning I finally stepped on a scale. The thing that I pretty much knew was happening was reaffirmed to me. I have manage to gain 20 pounds since my lowest weight. <BR> <BR> My first reaction was "Ah S**t!" But I had to be true with myself. I knew that I was gaining because of the way my clothes were fitting. I knew I hadn't been going to the gym like I was. I knew that I wasn't eating the best I could. <BR> <BR> Heck - I was the poster child of what NOT to do to lose weigh... Thu, 17 Nov 2011 09:26:01 EST You can't smile at the sunshine I was reading the Daily Spark about "90 pounds down" and I saw this comment and had to write about it. <BR> <BR> ----------------------- <BR> "This is very frustrating! If self motivation was as easy as smiling at the sunshine, then there would be no need for articles about motivation. Just once I would like to see some advice about motivation that wasn't some variant of "Think positively and everything will work itself out in the best possible way! Hugs all around!" <BR> <BR> GAH! " <BR> -... Wed, 9 Nov 2011 11:08:07 EST Believe in your body, Believe in yourself Yesterday was my cardio day. That usually means a LOT of moving. Remember, I started with only 5 minutes a day. I also remind you to make sure to chat with a doctor before exercising. <BR> <BR> I started on the stair stepper. I'm not a huge fan of the stair stepper and when I first started at the gym, I looked on it with fear and loathing. The middle of this year I decided to try it. I'm not great at it and I usually set it fairly low (small steps). Once I tried I found I really cou... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 09:45:58 EST More humor from the gym So, the other day I was at the gym and there was a young couple in that were working out together. The guy gave me a couple of inner smiles... <BR> <BR> This young buck would walk by the mirror, lift if his shirt, and smack his stomach. He would also posture with his arms. I thought this was for show for his girl until I saw him in the locker room, doing the same thing. <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> The other smile came from when he was trying to impress his girl and went over to the pull do... Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:56:20 EST Getting old suxs As I was working out at the gym last night I was thinking of my life. I just wish I could go back in time and slap myself upside the head and tell me that I needed to get with the healthy lifestyle. <BR> <BR> I was so carried away with just floating along in life. I did for others and didn't think of me. I ate and drank whatever I wanted without even thinking. <BR> <BR> When I graduated high school - I was a strapping young man that wasn't overweight. The bad part is that I had actual... Fri, 14 Oct 2011 10:12:12 EST Life and weight loss When I first started on this journey, I had a lot to learn. I learned that I could actually exercise more than I thought. I learned what was the right foods and the proper portions. I learned about SP - and all the great people and tools that are at my fingertips. (Love all you guys!) <BR> <BR> The cool thing is that I lost weight and started living a healthy lifestyle. <BR> <BR> Like most everyone, I lost like gangbusters at first. My body was in shock and wondering what all these ch... Fri, 7 Oct 2011 11:03:08 EST Excuses don't work - my take I just read Yoovie's blog "Your Excuses Can't Hold Water" ( <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4404956 </link> ) <BR> and it struck such a chord with me that I asked her if I could copy it and put my spin on things. <BR> <BR> Although I don't get thousands of emails a month, or anything like that - I have heard a lot of these things before. Heck, before I started on this journey, I was using some of them myself! <BR> <BR> *** BE WARNED - I DIDN'T ... Thu, 4 Aug 2011 11:23:46 EST Why is this so damn hard? OK - I admit. If I would have known just how hard this whole thing was going to be, I would have watched what I ate and gotten more exercise YEARS ago. <BR> <BR> Even when I started with this journey, my weight seemed to just fall off of me. I worked out and ate better and it just kept dropping. <BR> <BR> That is until I hit my plateau. I've managed to move a little past that point but everything is going SO SLOW. <BR> <BR> OK, OK, I KNOW that I don't want to lose weight too fast. I KN... Thu, 14 Jul 2011 09:07:08 EST A short post about my VW Beetle As you may or may not know - one of the things that is helping me to try and stay on track with my eating is a 1960 VW Beetle by the name of "Ruby". I spend time working in the garage on the car, so I'm not tempted to be inside to eat. <BR> <BR> Anyway - If anyone is interested I created a blog to chronicle the rebuild of "Ruby". You can find it at: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I hope you can find your own "Ruby" - whatever it may be. <BR> <BR> Onwards..... Thu, 2 Jun 2011 11:05:15 EST Not giving up really DOES work! A while ago I changed my whole plan on this weight loss journey. I was driving myself nuts with getting just a little TOO wrapped up into everything. <BR> <BR> - I was stressing about the scale. <BR> - I was exercising 2 hours a day. <BR> - However I wasn't tracking well with my food intake. <BR> <BR> It was just the hamster running the cage syndrome. Whatever I burned, I ate. I was just going a bit bonkers about the whole thing. <BR> <BR> Then I stopped for a week - took a breather - r... Mon, 16 May 2011 09:27:40 EST How to keep going When I started this journey last year, I hadn't been motivated at all. I was in a rut and that rut was piling on pounds and robbing me of years of my life. <BR> <BR> As you know weight loss is a personal thing. NO ONE can make you lose weight. The only person in control of your weight loss is you. There might be reasons to lose weight (family, health, looking good) - but the drive has to come from within. <BR> <BR> Here on Spark we talk about the "Ah Ha" moment as well. The point in ... Wed, 11 May 2011 10:18:59 EST The Great Doughnut Conspiracy A couple of days ago I wrote about how I was upset about eating doughnuts. The fact that I was eating them wasn't the core issue. The problem was how I was sabotaging myself. <BR> <BR> We all work so very hard to lose weight and there is more than just eating right and getting exercise. (...and sleeping well, and de-stressing). <BR> <BR> The biggest problem with losing weight can be that person in the mirror. We can be our very best friend and our very worse enemy. The trick is to f... Thu, 28 Apr 2011 09:57:27 EST Arrgh! Just shoot me OK - I've revamped everything I do to get off my plateau. I'm using the SP meal planner and getting some great ideas for food. I've changed up my workouts so I am not doing the same thing all the time. I've got other interests going on (my VW) to keep me out of the house and not eating. <BR> <BR> That said - WHY did I eat TWO doughnuts this morning at work. I mean, REALLY? I had a good, healthy breakfast. I wasn't even really hungry and after I ate them I realized I didn't even enjoy t... Tue, 26 Apr 2011 10:05:34 EST Losing weight is like fixing an old car As I was outside in the garage working on my VW, something came to mind. There is a lot of the same things between fixing up an old car and losing weight. <BR> <BR> - You find this old car that has seen better days. The tires are flat, the paint is faded and the engine needs work. <BR> <BR> (So like your body. You look in the mirror and see you have lumps where you don't want, you have no energy, and you just don't like you in your clothes any more.) <BR> <BR> - You get this little ca... Fri, 22 Apr 2011 09:43:23 EST How a 50 yr old VW Beetle is helping me lose weight Although it sounds strange, but I have found another way to be motivated to lose weight. It is a 1400 pound little VW Beetle named Ruby. <BR> <BR> Last month I wanted to find a replacement for my daily driver that is getting up in years and miles. Contrary to most people's thoughts, I wasn't looking to buy a new car or even a newer used one. I didn't know WHAT I wanted until I saw an ad in Craigslist for a 1960 VW beetle. (You can read more about it on my web page: http://www.blacksunlig... Mon, 11 Apr 2011 09:42:49 EST I can't eat my weight in Dingdongs Although it seemed like I was trying. <BR> <BR> Last week I ended up with a cold. After talking to others I found that this was not unusual for the type of cold that is going around this time. It bothered me because I had just HAD the thing about 3 weeks ago. <BR> <BR> Anyway - since I was down I had a chance to look at my life and my weight loss plan. I realized that I was spinning my wheels and not going anywhere. (Hence the post about living a maintenance lifestyle). The other thing... Fri, 8 Apr 2011 12:47:06 EST I living a lifestyle of being on maintenace But not NOT at my goal weight yet! Arrgh! <BR> <BR> A big THANK YOU to SP reports. I am fairly faithful for entering my food and exercise and last week I ran a report back to the first of the year. <BR> <BR> It's obvious to me now why I'm at a plateau! I have been doing the same levels of eating and exercising for several months now and it's NOT enough to lose weight! I'm not losing that 3500 calories (or 7000) a week that I need to lose those 1 or 2 pounds. All I needed to do is to ... Mon, 28 Mar 2011 09:44:51 EST A good reason to take pictures Today someone snapped a photo of me - so I went out and looked at my pictures from before. Then I made the comparison to about a year ago to today. <BR> <BR> Wow! I have to say that when you are IN your body you don't see the changes. Oh, there are changes that eventually show and clothes that fit differently. However the impact isn't staring you right in your face. <BR> <BR> I've been down on myself for a while because the scales haven't been moving and I've just felt like things aren'... Thu, 17 Mar 2011 14:51:24 EST The things you see at the gym Sometimes I get a chuckle and sometimes I'm just amazed and yesterday was one of those amazing days. This wasn't in a good way though. <BR> <BR> The Y where I work out has windows in the cardio room that overlook the parking lot entry (and a great mountain view). Yesterday when I was on the elliptical I looked out and was rather amazed. <BR> <BR> A small group of 20 somethings had stopped at the base of the stairs to the gym and were lighting up cigarettes! Three out of the four of them... Thu, 3 Mar 2011 09:17:00 EST Pain eating No, this isn't about eating pineapples with the skin on... It's something I learned about myself yesterday. <BR> <BR> Several years ago I had arthroscopic surgery done on each of my knees to remove some cartilage. My left one never was 100% on it's recovery and over time it has gotten worse. <BR> <BR> The good news is that with losing weight and gaining muscle, my legs and knees are a lot better. However last night I figured out that I'm going to need to go back to the doctor about the l... Thu, 24 Feb 2011 09:46:24 EST This... Is... War! OK - I admit that I've been down with a cold and I had some emotional type eating going on. Maybe just looking for comfort food is more the case. Over the last few days I noticed my weight has crept up to a gain of five pounds. Bleah... <BR> <BR> It just reminds me of that thing that I mentioned before. When we gain weight, we get more of those little fat cells and when we lose weight, they DON'T GO AWAY! (That's why diets don't work unless you change your lifestyle). <BR> <BR> With ... Thu, 10 Feb 2011 09:13:37 EST We are amazing When I'm down with something like a cold, it gives me a chance to stop and think. Of course stopping to think is something that Winne the Pooh and I share in common a lot of the time. If I walk and think - I run into things. <BR> <BR> I'm just amazed at what our bodies can do. I think back to when I was a little kid and despite all the cuts and scrapes and such, my body repaired itself and kept on going. Sometimes I needed a little medical attention to help it on it's way - but it pretty... Wed, 9 Feb 2011 14:19:10 EST Is fat an excuse? I finally got it. I was watching Biggest Loser this week and when one of the people fell off the treadmill (again), and Bob just stood there and said "Get up." The guy was saying about what his weight was and Bob just repeated "I know - now get up." <BR> <BR> At first I thought it was harsh until it hit me. The contestant was using his weight and size as an excuse. I know I used to do the same thing. <BR> <BR> "I'm to fat to work out." or "I'm just so fat and tired, I think I'll jus... Thu, 6 Jan 2011 10:00:21 EST More reset thoughts This morning as I was doing my exercises, I thought about yesterday and how I reset my counter. I thought to myself "Ed, you are no longer a 400 pound man striving for a goal of 220 - you are now a 350 pound man striving for a goal of 220". <BR> <BR> A lot has happened last year. I managed to lose a big bag of dog food. I learned about SP and found friends that are working towards the same goals. I found I could exercise a LOT more than I thought I could have in the past. <BR> <BR> The ... Tue, 4 Jan 2011 09:08:59 EST A New Years Reset With the beginning of the new year, I have decided to follow what other Spark friends have done and I'm resetting my weight ticker. I am proud of my accomplishments from last year but that is in the past now and it's time for me to start afresh. <BR> <BR> I'm afraid that I'm also going to have to set my starting up 1o pounds. I know it's temporary and that I'm going to work it off - but I have to be honest with myself. Weighing in this morning just drove home even more the fact that this ... Mon, 3 Jan 2011 09:09:39 EST Reflections and ramblings It seems that each year about this time I start to reflect on the past and what had come to be. This time I was watching a movie called "Wild Strawberries" (1957) and started to think about my own life. Then I looked at Sparky and thought that he and I have seen a lot of change over the last eight years. <BR> <BR> I have seen my body change and my weight slowly creep up. I have had GF's come and go, each giving a taking a little from my life. Some friends are constant while others hav... Tue, 28 Dec 2010 10:03:12 EST A Poignant Moment This morning I got up - or should I say, I dragged myself out of the bed. Part of my morning ritual is to work out on my exercise bike and I just didn't feel like it today. Despite that - I hauled myself into the room and with my headset playing some AC/DC, I started to ride. Granted, I might not have reached the speeds that I normally do - but I went through the motions anyway. I just closed my eyes and "went for it". When I thought I was about done with my 20 minute workout, I looked ... Tue, 7 Dec 2010 10:07:59 EST Mixed feelings Today I reached a total of 60 pounds lost. Normally that would be a happy thing for me, but I had already hit this mark back in September. Then something happened, I don't know exactly, but my weight went up 10 pounds. It bounced around for a while but stayed at that 10 pound increase. <BR> <BR> I wasn't happy to say the least. Heck, it stayed that way for about a month and then SLOWLY started to drop. I have changed up my exercises at the gym and even started with the SP meal plans t... Fri, 3 Dec 2010 11:10:11 EST Embrace change Over my several years of living, I have attended my share of "feel good" meetings and seminars. Ones that make you feel like nothing in the world can stop you - until you go back to your normal life afterwords. Then you go back into the groove that you always have been in. <BR> <BR> Humans by nature abhor change. We like our little caves, roving our little piece of land, and scavenging the same same bushes for berries. Most of us anyway. <BR> <BR> However you can change that. Learn to ... Sat, 13 Nov 2010 11:11:33 EST My little engine Today's Spark Reflection really hit home with me. It's about persistence. <BR> <BR> Personally I have felt like the hamster on the wheel going around and around. My body weight is bouncing up and down in the same 5 pound mark for almost 2 months. I've tried changing my exercise routine and switching to interval training. I've tried changing up my eating and even tried to eat MORE (Hey, it was my b-day so I was entitled). No matter what it doesn't go up - but it doesn't go down either. ... Wed, 3 Nov 2010 09:37:52 EST Turning Fifty Well I never thought I would see this day. Today I've been on this earth for half a century. The funny thing is that I don't FEEL that old! (and some have told me I don't look it either). <BR> <BR> This is an interesting time for me. For the longest time I had put everyone first before me. Because of that I ballooned in size until I realized that I was on the fast track to the grave. Talk about an ah-ha moment! So I changed my thinking to change my life. I started putting me first a... Thu, 21 Oct 2010 09:36:48 EST Less of the body, more about the heart I think I need some help... <BR> <BR> Have you ever had that special someone that entered your life and it's like a light bulb went on? It's not just infatuation or a fling. It is more than that. When you think of them a warm feeling comes over you. You feel surround by love and caring. That person makes the day just a little brighter and easier to deal with. <BR> <BR> However, they must have not felt the same because they leave your life. Whatever the reason was, they are gone. In m... Sun, 10 Oct 2010 12:17:16 EST Finding Motivation Lately it seems that my motivation is waning. That is until the YMCA put out a challenge to anyone that wanted to sign up to "beat the staff". My level is simple, record my minutes of exercise. That's easy since I have been doing that for months on SP. I just copy the info into my YMCA sheet. <BR> <BR> Up to that point I feel I was sliding. Maybe it's just the nature of things but I would get up and work out and just have no drive. My scale setting me back 10 pounds didn't help matters... Fri, 8 Oct 2010 13:30:52 EST Tales from the gym - The Cardio Queen Or I should say "The Ticked Off Cardio Queen". <BR> <BR> I'm a fairly easy going guy and like to be friendly to everyone, but there is this one woman that comes into the gym fairly regularly that defies the meaning of friendly. <BR> <BR> I know that we can get into our zone and tune out everyone, but this person comes in with a scowl on her face, gets on the elliptical, and hits it hard for (I think) about 60 minutes. All the time she is chewing gum and just looking like she ate a lemon. <... Sun, 3 Oct 2010 11:30:30 EST Tales from the gym - The Girls Sometimes things happen at the gym that just make me smile. Today was one of them. <BR> <BR> So yours truly had finished with the warm up cardio and started hitting the weight machines when two girls come in to the weight room. Actually since the weight room is in the basement, they ventured down into the depths. <BR> <BR> Now when I say girls - I really mean girls as in tweens. It was funny to watch these two slowly enter the room. I think they might have thought that there were some... Tue, 21 Sep 2010 23:30:33 EST Bad scale - no dougnut My scale is evil. <BR> <BR> Lucky for me - this isn't the first time it has messed with my mind. You see, this weekend I was a good home owner and cleaned my bathroom like I do every weekend. However this time when i moved my scale and put back down I noticed that it was a little out of adjustment. <BR> <BR> So what did I do? I adjusted it and stood on it to check it. All of a sudden it shows that I've gained 10 pounds! <BR> <BR> WHAT? TEN pounds? In one day? What the heck? What ... Mon, 20 Sep 2010 09:47:10 EST Who is better? It's amazing what kinds of things come to mind when you are doing the hamster thing on the treadmill. I kind of lock my eyes on points out the window and let my mind wander. <BR> <BR> This can be a dangerous thing to let the mind of Ed wander. <BR> <BR> However this time I started thinking about how we are looked upon in our society. Part of the thing goes back to me putting myself back out into the meat market. <BR> <BR> When I first started my weight loss - I had in my mind that... Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:08:55 EST