Creativity, Return of?

If you scroll waaaaaaay back to the beginning of this blog you’ll see I intended this as a place to play with my creative projects.  Then there was a short period of time when it was about travels, wine and beer.  A time of creativity-illo-2posts about finding a new job.  As of the last several months it has become strictly my weight loss blog.  I will certainly continue to blog on Fridays about that process but I do want to expand the breadth of topics again.  Eventually I will get back to my weight goal and then what will I do?  Endless weeks (I hope) of recording how I’m maintaining my new weight?  Don’t know about you but that would bore the snot out of me.

So I will start adding some other posts to the blog once again.  I am still exploring the greater RVA area.  Once the weather warms I think I’ll have lots to add there.  I’ve visited several eating spots that I would love to share.  Biking weather feels like it’s not too far off so we can explore there as well.  Perhaps the occasional jot on beer and wine as well.

But I really want to get back to that “creativity” thing.  As with my health journey, my creative energy ebbs and flows.  One of the ways to channel that is to be more intentional about it and writing about it (guitar and music, various “little projects” and, oh yes, my writing) is a way of being more intentional.

Creativity is something that has always been a part of me.  It expresses itself mostly in some form of storytelling, verbal (oral or written), visual (photography, drawing, acting), musical or in crafting things (I’m not sure how else to express that.  Examples to come).  In my experience I am happiest when some part of my life is being creative.

I suppose that’s something else I should note.  I do not believe that creativity is something that is apart from life.  At its best is always a part of life.  Creativity can be integrated into virtually any part of life.  At least, that is my experience.

For the moment let’s make that enough said.  But I’ll be back to this, I promise.

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Time to Get Real – Week of February 27

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OK, better.

I can’t settle, I’m still a LONG way away from my goal.  But I’ve started in the right direction.

Again.  Sigh.  LOL.

This week saw an uptick on exercise.  Still have room to improve but headed in the right direction.  Food was much better.  This whole logging food thing is a pain in the butt but it works.  It keeps me focused, insures that what I eat is something that is INTENTIONAL.  That makes a huge difference.  (I use MyFitnessPal because it offers both online and app access PLUS it can be linked to my Fitbit.  I know I’ve mentioned this before but there are some new readers showing up)

So a week where I lost over 2 pounds is a good week.  I need to focus on that rather than the overall number right now.  That overall number isn’t where I want it.  Of course, that’s why we’re doing this.  So, no let up.  Keep focused this week.  Bump up that exercise.  Warmer temperatures are just around the corner so I can do more walking and break out the bicycle too.

Good week.  Good week. Good week.  That’s what I’m thinking this week.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

The Kid looked at some photos from back then and it took a minute to realize it was me.  That makes me sad and mad (at myself, not her!)

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

198.4 pounds

Weight Change this week – -2.4 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 6.6 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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Time to Get Real – Week of February 20

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I want to run away and hide.

I’m angry, frustrated, unhappy and I seriously considered dumping posting this week.  But the purpose of these posts is to keep me accountable.  They are designed to help with my motivation and keep me headed in the right direction.

Not working real well right now.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a stress eater.  Well, we had a little bit of stress this week.  Sprinkler system pipe broke right over our living room.  Water everywhere, chaos for three days.  Couldn’t even escape the apartment because 1) I needed to be here waiting for service people, and 2) it has been bitterly cold here, like most of the East Coast.  So no exercise, negative mental state and stress eating.  You can imagine what that number is going to be.

All of that sounds like excuse making to me.  Every week is “This week we get re-started”.  Every week is anything but a re-start.  So here we go again.

It’s Lent.  I am in a faith tradition that includes this season of preparation and discipline.  So here is my new Lenten discipline:

  • No dessert – It’s just unneccesary calories right now.
  • Exercise at least three days a week.  Five is optimal but I need to start somewhere.
  • Log all my food.
  • Put more emphasis on veggies and fruits (No, this hasn’t gotten the attention it should)

Let’s see how we look at Easter.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

The Kid looked at some photos from back then and it took a minute to realize it was me.  That makes me sad and mad (at myself, not her!)

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

200.6 pounds

Weight Change this week – +2.8 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 4.2 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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Time to Get Real – Week of February 13

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Did you think I’d quit?

Nope, it was a bad couple of weeks from a couple points of view.  In the end, things took a turn for the better and I’m hoping to build on that.

I will admit that I was struggling.  More than usual, I mean.  I have been trapped in that borderline area.  Halfway between holes on my belt (fortunately headed down rather than up, lol) and my pants were just a shade tight.  (Side note: actually one pair of jeans were a little tight, the others – the exact same size but from a different maker, were unwearable.  I know the ladies out there are accustomed to clothing sizes making no sense whatsoever but it’s not normally a problem for guys sizes.  Makes me crazy).  My struggle was whether to break down and buy a pair of “fat pants”.  It felt like defeat.  And that was weighing me down.  In the end comfort won out over vanity.

During the two week hiatus from blogging about the weight loss I did continue to weigh myself.  Two weeks ago my weight was steady, last week I gained a fraction and this week I dropped it back off.  So the overall trend for three weeks was to hold steady.  Since that included both Super Bowl munching AND my birthday, I’m counting that as a victory.

This week I had my annual physical.  Hasn’t been good since the weight came back.  “The Guy” had good physicals.  Recently, not so much.  So imagine my surprise when I had the best BP reading in decades, 117/73.  So some things seem to be turning.  As long as the blood tests and related stuff comes back OK we’ll be good for the moment.

Except for the weight.  And we’re working on that.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

197.8 pounds

Weight Change this week – +0.8 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 7.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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Time to Get Real – Week of January 23

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Nothing like the days when you look at the number and think it’s not good, only to discover it’s actually pretty good.

I try not to obsess about the number.  I have a goal number that I’m working towards.  Outside of the weigh in day I NEVER check on my progress.  From both experience and my reading it seems to offer more negatives than posititves.  Day to day fluctuations can come from a wide range of things that have nothing to do with the long term goal.  So, once a week, I check and then try to forget.

This week I was pretty good at that last part it appears.  My thought as I looked down between my feet was that I’d only lost a fraction of a pound.  Now ANY loss is a good loss but I had worked my food pretty well this week.  Exercise is still lagging but moving in the right direction.

So a fraction of a pound would be a poor reward.  Turns out I’d just forgotten what the last weigh in actually was.  I dropped just shy of TWO pounds this week!

YEAH, BABY!

Still a long way to go but a good week.  Plus a nice surprise.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

197.0 pounds

Weight Change this week – -1.8 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 7.8pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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Time to Get Real – Week of January 16

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No, I didn’t forget.

I have adjusted my weigh in day to Friday.  I tend to relax a little on the weekends and it just puts too much stress for an early week weigh in.  I think a Friday weigh in will serve me better.

Having said that, the holidays did not go well.  They didn’t go terribly, my weight change is only about 3 pounds (from before the holidays), so it could have been worse.  I stayed below 200 pounds which is an ongoing goal.  So I achieved that.

That’s also something I’m focusing on right now.  Not getting hung up on the negatives.  “I didn’t work out enough”, “I didn’t lose the kind of weight I wanted this week”, “I ate poorly this week”.  None of that is really helpful.

This is a lifestyle change.  Those take time, they come with ongoing challenges.  If I can make a small advance each week, then I’ll be doing well.

Focus on the positives.  Keep working toward the overall goal.  Don’t let the set backs distract me from the ultimate goal.  Reinforce the advances.

I did a quick early week weigh in just to see if there was any significant advance to the late week.  I showed positive motion by Friday, so I think this will work.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

198.8 pounds

Weight Change this week – +1.4pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 6.0pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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Time to Get Real – Week of January 4

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My first impulse is to say “So we begin again”.  But the more I think about it the more I realize it falls into the failed mindset we’ve all been trained to accept about weight loss.

It’s a temporary phase with a beginning and an end.

Except it isn’t.

This is why I have (personal) reservations about weight loss programs.  The offer you a short term process to what is a long term problem.  I’m not 25 pounds above a healthy weight for me because I got a little crazy with the eating during the holidays.  I do not struggle with borderline high blood pressure because of a short term issue with weight loss.  I don’t linger at the edge of pre-diabetes because I slacked off on my exercise for a couple months.

I have poor eating habits.  My portion control is poor.  My food selection is often poor.  I do not get anywhere near the MINIMUM amound of exercise I need to stay at a healthy weight.  This is a lifelong problem and the solution has to work for me for the rest of my life.

I am not ON a diet. I am trying to FIX a diet.  Diet, by definition, the kinds of food a person habitually eats.  If I can adjust the kinds (and much more importantly the PORTIONS of the foods I eat) and get regular exercise losing weight is easy.

Yes, you read that right.  Assuming you do not have an underlying medical condition that obstructs weight loss (and being too lazy to get up off your ass and stop stuffing your face is NOT a medical condition) then that is all there is to losing weight.

I will now get flamed by the folks who want to talk about their “issues” and psychological stressors and people who are upset about being called lazy and being accused of stuffing their faces.  Go for it.  Here are my answers up front:

  1. If you know you have “issues” then you’ve already come to grips with the problem.  Unless you do nothing except use the issues as an excuse.  Face them, struggle with them, defeat them.  I’ll be right beside you the whole way.  Whimper about how hard you life is and you get no sympathy.  I had a bleeping stroke.  Let’s talk issues.  Better yet, let’s not.
  2. Psychological stressors.  See above.  If you have serious problems in this category then you get the medical condition pass.  Otherwise, you’re just whining.  See #1.
  3. You’re lazy.  I’m lazy.  I freaking HATE exercise.  Hate, hate, hate.  It bores me.  It makes me sweaty which I don’t much like.  And it HURTS, especially at the beginning.  Most of us have gotten this way because we chose the easy path.  The couch potato path.  That’s lazy in my book.  Maybe you’ve gotten to the point that you have serious medical issues.  Fine, that’s different.  But my knees ache and my heart pounds and my muscles scream.  Not doing it just because it’s hard is lazy.
  4. You stuff your face.  We all do.  Years ago, when I was still in radio, we hosted a group of broadcasters from southern Africa.  At lunch one day I asked them what had surprised them the most about the U.S.  They all agreed it was how much food we ate.  A single serving in most restaurants would be the normal dinner for at least two people in their countries.  These were educated, middle class folks.  They all felt like they had gained 10-20 pounds in the month they were visiting us.

Bottom line is this – everything I read indicates that most of us are overweight because we eat to much and move to little.  No other reason.  We have problems that start with our weight.  It’s easy to turn than equation around and say that our problems cause the weight problem.  For most of us it’s a lie.

I gave up lying years ago.

Here’s my drill moving forward:

Track my eating with My Fitness Pal.  Make better choices.  Control portion size.

Exercise – I have a body weight strength program (requires basically no equipment at all.  You use your own body weight as the resistance) that I will do three days a week and walk on the treadmill or out in the world 5 days a week.  Yes, I’m talking about two work outs a day on two or three days a week.  My walking goal is 10,000 steps a day.

Weigh ins begin today.

The Guy

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

The next milestone is getting back below 190.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

197.4 pounds

Weight Change this week – 0.0pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 7.4pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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