Thursday, December 15, 2016

If You Can't Eat Good, At Least Be a Good Eater

Well, we knew they weren't all gonna be winners.

This was my first week with no forward progress, and now it's about how well I weather the storm.

I didn't fall off the wagon or anything - I just didn't go about things with my previous gusto. Made it to the gym a few times and never consumed an entire pig in one bite, but I was definitely a member of the Clean Plate Club, and got a few cases of the shacks. (This is when you get so snacky that you develop the shakes.)

I've won more of these than Michael Phelps has won Olympic medals.
I've got roughly one week before I'm home for Christmas, and I'm determined to make it a good one. Because as hard as I'm going to try not to go overboard on cookies, let's be honest. You don't send a sex addict into a brothel and expect him to come out with a hard-on.

Where I have been making progress is on the book front. I got my query letter written, received feedback from a number of friends and did a few rewrites. Downloaded and watched a couple of 2-hour webinars on obtaining literary representation, and actually took copious notes. Also got a start on my synopsis, and am looking into attending the SDSU Writers' Conference in San Diego next month. See? I told you I was going to make a million dollars in 2017.

I've generally been on the ball. Got all my Christmas shopping done, took care of a bunch of bills and other nasty-looking paperwork I'd been eyeing warily and hoping would go away on its own for the past month.

I could be sleeping better. If it's not an uncomfortable sleeping position, it's the temperature in the room. If it's not the temperature in the room, it's a cat crawling on my face. If it's not a cat crawling on my face...well, okay, there's always a cat crawling on my face. Point is, I need to figure it out, because four hours a night ain't cutting it. Because then when I get up, I'm exhausted, and I'm unmotivated, and I have to spend at least five minutes cleaning litter out of my eyebrows.

Okay. I'm going to the gym right now, and I'm not leaving until I'm a supermodel.

Day 28 weight: x - 6.7 lbs

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Target Practice

Down seven pounds in three weeks. I would take that pace for the next five months.

So yeah, getting there, slowly but surely. There were no nasty, food-centric holidays threatening to derail me this week, so that was nice. Ate a few salads, limited snacking to foods in the "fruits and vegetables" portion of the pyramid, and got my butt to the gym five out of the last seven days. Canceled my subscription to the "Seven Layer Cake of the Month Club." All signs of progress.

Christmas is a-coming, of course, so A) I have to make sure I've dropped considerable poundage before going home, in anticipation of the calorie tsunami that's about to hit, and B) I have to resolve, once I am hope, to reduce that tsunami to a ripple. Hm. The word "ripple" just made me think of "fudge ripple." I still have a lot of work to do, huh?

Remember a few weeks ago, when I said I deleted all games from my phone? Well, I've added some new ones. I'm sorry. I tried. But I need something that allows me to avoid an excess of human contact in social situations. I can't be expected to engage 100% of the time. Once in a while, you people just need to leave me alone so I can work on my archery skills.

I'm sure successful, prolific authors do a lot of this.

I met with a writer friend of mine to talk shop, and that was productive. Got some advice on queries and synopses, conferences to attend, publications to subscribe to, etc. I'll be getting my book back from my editor in about a month, so I want to be prepared by then to start submitting soon afterward. My early New Year's resolution is to receive enough rejection letters in 2017 to wallpaper at least one room of my house.

The meditation thing isn't going great. I may not be the meditating type. I do, however, want to work on sitting down for a couple minutes every morning and writing out everything I want to accomplish that day. Having stuff in writing always seems to help. Just look at the success I'm having with weight loss since I started blogging again. All good fodder for my future book: How to Bullshit Your Way to a Healthy Weight. 

All right. Let's hit that 10-pound mark next week, shall we?

Day 21 weight: x - 7.0 lbs

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Leftovers

I'm down another pound, y'all. Normally, that wouldn't be too exciting, but since my last post there was freakin' THANKSGIVING, followed by The Week of Leftovers. So I'm counting it as a major win.

But seriously, you've never seen so much food:

Two turkeys
Three baking dishes full of mac n' cheese
Two trays of regular stuffing
One tray of cornbread stuffing
Multiple muffin tins full of stuffing in ball form
Three different types of cranberry sauce
A rice dish
Salad, for some reason
Sweet potatoes and marshmallow
Mashed potatoes
Green beans
Cauliflower mashers
Brussels sprouts
Spinach lasagna (one of the Pilgrims' little known favorites)
More rolls
Corn casserole
Roughly twenty pies
Pumpkin roll
Pumpkin loaf
Chocolate-covered peanut butter balls
And, oh, I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

So, even though we had 25 people at our place on Turkey Day, there were still plenty of leftovers to tease and tempt me for the remainder of the week. And it didn't help that one of our friends - THANKS, HOLLY - decided that what the world really needed was for there to be a day after Thanksgiving where we all get together and EAT MORE FOOD. Just for that, I'm instituting a new holiday immediately following Valentine's Day where we all have to love people for an extra 24 hours. Karma's a b-word.

But, while I certainly didn't eat like a bird, I behaved as well as can reasonably be imagined. I took small portions of everything, and only helped myself to seconds of a few items (not the Brussels sprouts, in case you were wondering). I did a pretty decent job of not filling up before dinner, nor mindlessly snacking afterward. In the days since, I've controlled my leftover intake, and actually ended up tossing quite a bit of it for the first time in recorded history.

My plan was to get to the gym a couple times over the long weekend, and...that didn't happen. It was honestly because of a packed schedule more than a lack of motivation, as evidenced by the fact that I've gone every day so far this week. And I've been kicking my butt more than usual. I keep forgetting to bring a towel, though, so my apologies to whoever used that rowing machine after me.

In other lard-discarding news, I got myself an editor for my novel, and she's already on the job. Should have a final, submission-ready draft ready by the second week of January. In the meantime, I'm meeting with a writer friend to pick his brain about query letters, synopses, etc., and welcome any other advice (preferably from someone who knows what they're talking about). I'm not writing anything new until I've sold this son-of-a-gun. It's gonna happen.

Fortunately, there is nothing else coming around the bend to tempt me food-wise, so - GOOD GOD, IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS. Well, shit. Fingers crossed I spend more time this month dreaming about sugarplums than eating them.

Starting weight: x lbs
Day 14 weight: x - 4.3 lbs
Total loss: 4.3 lbs

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Curse of Carb Island

Well, it's here. The best/worst day of the year. Other addicts don't have to deal with this sort of thing. There's no National Heroin Day. No Aerosol Sniffing Day. No Drink 'Til You Drop Day. Oh, hang on. That's Christmas.

Point being that there is about to be an absolute parade of calories marching through our front door in a number of hours. We're having 25 people over this year. Last year we had 18, and this was one of the tables of food:

Appropriately named "Carb Island"

I'm going to try to control myself. I'm doing everything I can - blinders, throat guard, shock collar, the whole shebang. Even still, I am going to eat. But no seconds. Except maybe on the mac n' cheese. And I'm cutting myself off after one pie. 

So yeah, today will be rough. But I'm off to a good start. Down over three pounds after week one. Have been eating well for the most part, limiting intake quantity, and have gotten my butt to the gym several times, including once when it was cold and raining. I had agita the entire way there, because usually I'll only drive under those conditions when I need to take someone to urgent care. 

Things are going well in the writing department as well. I finally finished the last draft of my novel and formatted it so that it's submission-ready. Getting it into the hands of an editor next week, into the hands of an agent the week after that, into the hands of a publisher the week after that, and into the many hands of my adoring fans the week after that. Don't forget to pre-order your copy on Amazon. 

One thing that's been helping me, I think, is that I've been meditating each morning. I'm not sitting on any pillows, or going full-lotus, or doing any "om"-ing. Just a few minutes at the start of each day to focus, remind myself of my short-term and long-term goals, and make a mental list of everything I want to accomplish before my head hits the pillow (for my afternoon nap). It seems to be working. But we'll see how long I can keep it up. That's an awful lot of time to spend with myself. 

Okay - Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Stuff your damn faces. Don't forget to breathe in-between bites. 

Starting weight: x lbs
Day 7 weight: x - 3.2 lbs
Total loss: 3.2 lbs

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Changing of the Lard

Well. It's been more than five years since I've written a post to this blog. Here are some interesting facts about the world back in March 2011:

  • The Cubs hadn't won a World Series since 1908.
  • Osama bin Laden was still alive.
  • I was single. Well, I had a fiancee, but whatevs. 
  • Occupy Wall Street wasn't a thing yet.
  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were still together. 
  • Every awesome, amazing person on Earth wasn't dead (thanks, 2016).
  • I didn't weigh roughly the same as an Amazonian manatee.

Sigh. Yeah, I took the fat-and-happy thing and ran with it (the only running I've done since 2011). Which is why I feel the need to start up this blog again. The first time around I lost over 20 pounds. Not nearly as much as I wanted to lose back then, and certainly not as much as I need to lose this time around, but I figure the accountability/constant self-shaming helped, so I'm gonna give it another shot. 

I am currently the heaviest I've ever been. It sucks. I deserve better, my wife deserves better, our future children deserve better, and our cats deserve better. (I've been a terrible role model for Toby especially, who has been responsible for at least seven minor quakes in the Los Angeles area). And honestly, Amazonian manatees deserve better. They shouldn't have to shoulder the comparison. 

As when I began this blog, I am working on discarding not only my literal lard, but the figurative lard from my life. While I enjoy playing poker, the home games I've hosted since 2008 have taken their toll. Each week, my schedule is thrown off, I don't get enough sleep, which makes it hard to keep up on work, which makes it hard to carve out time for the gym. Not to mention all the nasty treatses that litter the black card table in the garage every Tuesday, tempting me with their evil deliciousness. But the home games are over as of this week, and I'm vowing to get more regular sleep, stick to a firmer schedule, get to the gym 4-5 days a week, and stop sucking up food into my face like I'm a human Bissell attachment. 

I am cutting out distractions. I've deleted all games from my phone, I'm not starting any new shows, and I'm going to start spending 20-30% less time shooting the shit with my co-workers (the cats again). I'm about two days away from completing the final draft on my novel, at which point I can get that sucker sold. And I have a couple projects up my sleeves which, while time-consuming, I feel will be important both in terms of productivity and self-gratification (the non-masturbation kind). So good things are on the horizon. 

There are so many things in my life that have fallen into place, or are getting there. What frustrates me is that I'm close to having a nearly perfect life - or as close to one as a person might reasonably hope - but most of the trouble areas that are keeping me from getting there are totally within my control. I just need to buckle down, focus, and continually remind myself of all the good that's well within reach. The problem is that all of that good stuff is on the same shelf as the Cheetos. 

Okay, so here we go. I want to lose 50 pounds. I would LOVE to lose 60, but let's just see how I look and feel after I've lost 50. I don't feel like posting my actual weight, so we'll call it "x". 

Here we go. 

Starting weight: x lbs
Day 0 weight: x lbs
Total loss: 0 lbs