Category Archives: Weight Loss

New Year, New Life (with a road bump)

Sorry, for taking so long between posts, guys! It’s been about 3 months since my last post here. I apologize for those who are reading. The past three months have been eventful ones on my journey. Although as the title suggests there has been a minor bump, in my road to health.

I’m not much in love with exercise, so going to the gym is only something I do as a last resort.  Instead I opt for sports, playing soccer, softball, and what I wouldn’t give to find a women’s or co-ed basketball team somewhere in Akron, Ohio. So this winter I’ve been playing indoor soccer on a pick-up league and two separate competitive leagues.  It’s great to get back into playing again. There was a point when I was at my heaviest, that the idea of playing sports again was daunting, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it. But now I know I can. And, hell, I’ll brag. I’m not half-bad either.

I can even score a goal with my eyeball. That right there is talent.

Big Eye
My crazy eyes after my visit to the eye doctor.

Going for the ball, the goalie shot it right up into my face, hitting only my eye, sending me collapsing to the ground and clutching my face. Ouch! But the ball did roll into the goal, so at least I got something for my pain and blurry vision in the right eye!

After a trip to the urgent care, the emergency room, an ophthalmologist, and then finally retina specialist (holy medical bills, Batman!), I have learned I have a bruised retina. But no detachment! Woohoo! My vision is still blurry a couple months since the incident, so there is a very real possibility that my vision in that eye will be permanently damaged.  But with both eyes open the blurriness isn’t really noticeable. So much for that nearly 20/20 vision I’d been swinging before. I’m sure all those with glasses and contacts don’t have much sympathy for me on that front.

In other news, my goal to being debt free is coming closer, because after I get my tax return back, I’ll be paying off a the last of a $10,000 loan I took out  in 2011 to consolidate a looming credit card debt I’d racked  up during my college years.  Crap, did I waste money when I was in college! Which isn’t even speaking of my student loans that built up after both undergraduate and graduate school. Eek! Word of advice to those looking to go to college, find a way to pay for it up front or keep your student loans as low as possible, because paying back student loan debt is daunting and a pain in the butt. If I could do it again, I would have attended a community college and then transferred to Ohio State afterwards. It would have kept a lot of money in my pocket and the degree would have been the same on paper.

I’ll post  more on my plans to manage my debt in a post next week! Thanks for reading!

The Long Road

One of the items on my list that I started working on since before the idea of the Checklist ever came about was to lose weight. The item as listed is that I want to be under 200 lbs. I would like to weigh even less, but for now that is the goal and once it’s reached perhaps another item to lose more will be added to my checklist.

Last year, I finally sucked it up and weighed myself, something I had been actively avoiding. Honestly, I was scared what that number might read so I avoided it. It seems my fears were for good reason because when I finally got on the scale I weighed in at a whopping 320 lbs. I was floored. I knew I was fat, but I never really thought I’d let myself get that bad. I would convince myself that I was big, but I wasn’t morbidly obese. [On a side note, I do believe the BMI scale is a load of you know what, but perhaps that's a post for another time]

The impetus for this change wasn’t anything monumental, no massive health problem that shook some sense into me, nor was it that number on the scale. It was a picture.

COME GET SOME!
COME GET SOME!

This is from a family vacation with my parents, sister, aunt, uncle, cousins. I’m the one of the bottom left. I’m a little hard to miss. That I was so clearly the largest one in my family was both startling and painful. So I decided to make a change.

I started logging my diet on MyFitnessPal. I’d check it out and seriously consider using it if you are just starting off losing weight. I’d recommend you don’t seriously restrict your calories though and make your own calorie goals rather than what the website recommends. For me. I try to eat around 1700 to 2200 a day depending on how active I was that day. It’s a helpful tool to help you realize what it is you’re putting in your body.  And I came to realize I used to put a lot of crap into mine.  Processed foods, soda, sugar, sugar, and more sugar.

Next, I started to get more active. I did some boot camps at the Y, I walk, play soccer and softball, lifted weights and did some running. No chronic cardio though, which is important to note.

When you’re trying to lose weight, conventional wisdom is that you need to go to the gym five to seven times a week and kill yourself on a treadmill, elliptical, or other machine. While running and cardio machines aren’t bad, there is a level of use to consider. Too much isn’t good for you and while you may lose weight, you won’t be healthy.

For example, sprinters or football players tend to look athletic and healthy, because they tend to make use of brief but intense bursts of speed and weight training over running miles and miles a day. Then, on the other side of the spectrum you have the super marathon runners, who are so thin and unhealthy they look like they’ve just gotten off a 6 month hunger strike.

Which form of exercise do you think is better for you, again?

I’d suggest reading this article by  Mark Sisson on Mark’s Daily Apple, as he explains the dangers in much more clarity than I ever could: Chronic Cardio is Still Unhealthy.

While I won’t be running any marathons for the reasons discussed above, I did do my first 5K which is a much much shorter run in January and then my second in May. While I hate running in most circumstances, the environment and people made them amazing. I especially liked the foam run I did in May.  A 5K with a slip and slide? Heck yes!

Foam!
Foam!

So, as of today, I am at 250 lbs and I’ve lost a total of 70 lbs. I still have a long way to go, and I’ve hit a bit of a plateau as of late, I’m still working hard and determined to make it to my goal. It may take me a long time, longer than I’d hoped, but I know I’ll get there. I want to make this transformation in the healthiest way possible and that means it’s not going to happen overnight. And you know what? I’m alright with that. It’s about the journey.