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Monthly Archives: July 2010

I hit my official goal of losing 375 pounds last week. I knew I was close, and when I stepped on the scale last Thursday, I noted that I weighed 224.7 pounds. That’s a total official loss of 375.2 pounds. My personal reaction was unexpected on my part…I just said, “Huh.” and thought to myself, “Now what?” I didn’t have a huge feeling of accomplishment or relief…just “huh”. (I suspect that I will continue to lose a bit more weight just to pad my goal a bit.) But officially, I did it. 

On Thursdays, I have a standing meeting at my office with several of the agency executives. I decided it was time to celebrate a bit, and stopped on the way to work to buy some fresh fruit to share at the meeting.

Just because I felt like I owed it to myself, I also stopped off at my local neighborhood pusher and purchased a dozen of his best. These doughnuts are high level product, covered in not only the great uncut powered white stuff, you know…sugar, but also glaze, maple, chocolate, jelly and sprinkles. I decided that I needed to treat myself and not feel guilty about it, so as I was driving, I popped open the box and chose an old-fashioned buttermilk bar. I was only going to eat half of it, but when I picked it up, I realized it was still warm from cooking. Without hesitation, I consumed the entire doughnut.

I got to work, found a parking place, picked up my backpack, gym bag, and grocery bags of fruit, balanced the box of 11 doughnuts, and headed to the door. As I headed into the office, I ran into one of the executives, who asked me what all the food was for. I told her I’d finally hit my goal, and it was time to start gaining it all back! Nothing but Haggen Dazs and chicken McNuggets from now on!

When I got into the building, I got a platter, washed off the fruit and took it all into the meeting room. One of our outside consultants was in the room waiting for the meeting to get started. He also asked me about the food. I told him that I had hit my goal and wanted to celebrate. This is where I was surprised. He stood up, leaned across the table, reached out to shake my hand, looked me in the eyes and told me he was “very proud of me.” I can honestly say I was moved. He was so sincere, I even got a bit choked up. It was obvious that he truly was proud of me. Coming from someone that I respected, it was so unexpected that it threw me.

For the rest of the day, I heard this again from so many of my friends. They all said almost the same thing: “I am so proud of you.” It seemed that my friends were making more of this goal than I had. I thought it was a strange choice of words to get from people that in most cases were younger than I was. I gave it quite a bit of thought throughout the day. As I was driving to the gym after work that night, I had one of those ah-ha moments. I was thinking about how much it meant to everyone that I hit the goal, and was wondering why they were so invested in it. Maybe they were just glad that I would no longer be so obsessive about it. Or maybe that’s just the polite thing to say to someone that lost 62% of their body weight. In the end, I came to the conclusion that they just care about me and they felt happy for me…not for the goal I hit. True friends are people that have the ability to feel happiness for you and take pride in the people they care about.

I am lucky to have such great people in my life.

Paulie

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With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.  ~Thomas Foxwell Buxton

‎1,606 days, 1,313,200 calories, 375.2 pounds.

Paul

I have heard many times that there are no stupid questions. Maybe I just run with a different crowd, but I am convinced that there are actually some pretty stupid questions being queried.

I went in for a surgery consultation last week. I had made the appointment several weeks ago, and was supposed to complete the medical documents prior to my appointment and turn them in when I checked in for the consultation. With all the house cleaning we have done in the last few weeks, the documents either got lost or tossed out. So, I went into the doctors office a few days before my appointment to pick up a new set of documents.

I went to the building (which happens to have the only aerial tram in Portland attached to it), found the office on the building directory, moved up the stairs and located the office. I went up to the receptionist and waited until she completed her phone call. I told her I had an appointment in two days with the doctor, and needed a set of the new patient documents. She asked me my name and confirmed the appointment. She then reached into a drawer, pulled out a packet for new patients, and handed it over. That’s when she asked me the question that gave me pause. She asked me (all the while looking into my baby brown eyes), if I needed directions to the office. I told her I thought the appointment was in that office. She said yes, it was, and did I need directions to get there?

I am not sure what she was thinking. Was she so used to asking that question to people on the phone that she just hit the repeat button in her brain? Still not sure I heard the question correctly, I said, you mean to get here? She nodded her head and said she wanted to be sure I could find the office again. I told her I had the coordinates and was sure Mr. Spock could beam me over again the next day without any problems. She looked at me like Bambi in the headlights and said thank you. I am fairly sure she didn’t listen to a word I said.

While I am on the subject of stupid, I have something else to relate. Northern Oregon is dark for 9 months out of the year before 6 AM. It’s also cold, meaning foggy windows, and it tends to rain here A LOT! All this adds up to poor visibility when driving early in the morning. I want to tell everyone that chooses to go jogging at 4:45 in the morning…STAY OFF THE *&$#^%$ STREET! My little city has big, wide, smooth sidewalks as well as running trails, green spaces, city parks and bike lanes. There is absolutely no reason to run in the street. I appreciate their belief in my abilities as a defensive driver, but if my daughter played in traffic, she would be grounded. Every day, I see these folks running in their little ninja outfits playing chicken with 4000 pounds of Detroit steel and I wonder how they could be so stupid. I know they have the right to be in the street, but is it going to make them feel better when they are confined to a wheelchair knowing they were in the right? Hey, here’s an idea, go to the YMCA and run on the nice, dry, flat, indoor track.

Lastly, I want to tell the security guard at IKEA that it’s an entrance that doubles as an exit. We really don’t need to go clear to the other end of the store to exit the building. Trying to stop customers before we go out the entrance is only going to irritate us into not coming back. I know that it’s probably store policy to herd people past the Swedish meatballs and other impulse items, but is the real crime going out the door marked “In”? Take a breath, Barney Fife, and relax. You are still going to get your paycheck.

No stupid questions? I beg to differ.

Paulie

I watched last season’s “The Biggest Loser”. As I blogged a few months ago, I felt like this program gives people a false expectation of what it means to lose weight. I was speaking to a friend of mine about the fact that these people are losing well over 100 pounds of weight in something like 8 months. My friend referred to this as a crash diet.

I looked up the definition of “crash diet” and Wikipedia defines it as “a diet which is extreme in its nutritional deprivations, typically severely restricting calorie intake. It is meant to achieve rapid weight loss and may differ from outright starvation only slightly.” I know that Wikipedia is not the best reference material, but I think this time it is right on.

The “crash” part of this phrase is the interesting part. I am not sure if the crash comes at the start of the diet when you quickly lose the weight or at the end when you gain it all back.

I have tried more than my share of diets. I get the attraction to losing weight quickly.  I am as impatient as the next guy, but it never lasts.  The diet I started before my last go around was the Atkins diet. What could be better than eating a pound of bacon for breakfast every day and losing weight? According to my friend Danny, “bacon is the universal flavor enhancer.” I did pretty well on that diet, but I suffered from some of the well-known side effects of a low carb diet. I was always worried about having bad breath, and I started to suffer from a form of gout in my hands. The worst part of it was the lack of fiber in my diet. I would be backed up for 3 to 4 days without being able to use the bathroom. It was awful!

Those side effects told me that this was not a plan that I could stay on for the rest of my life. It also told me that it was unhealthy. I did some research, and one of the theories that I came across was that low carb diets cause a disease called diverticulitis. One of the causes of this disease is constipation, which is very harmful to the large intestine. Apparently, it is not uncommon for body builders to suffer from diverticulitis due to the diets they endure for competitions.

I was at IKEA a few days ago, looking for some cheap photo frames (not that IKEA has anything that is expensive.) While I was there, I stopped off into the bathroom and noticed an emergency button on the wall. The button is marked “Medical Emergency”. I snapped a quick couple of pics with my phone, because it struck me as kind of funny. My first thoughts were, “What in the hell are people doing in the IKEA bathroom that they need to place an emergency medical button here?” and “Does IKEA have so many toilet emergencies that they decided to cut out the requirement of someone actually yelling for help? Is this a button for people that would like a medical emergency but don’t know how to start? Does this send up a Batman-like signal in the air in the shape of a toilet seat? Does it sound an alarm that sounds like flatulence and not a siren?

Then, it came to me. IKEA has a large number of Viking body builders that suffer from a low carb diet and they want to be sure none of them end up dying in there. If only Elvis had had one of these installed at Graceland.

All of this tells me that there are no shortcuts to being healthy. Mother Nature has a way of making you pay the price for trying to outsmart her. Eat nothing but protein, Mother Nature says you get to keep it all and won’t let you go to the bathroom. Take steroids to build muscles, and Mother Nature says you get acne and shrinking testicles (see what your new girlfriends think of that). Take drugs to amp up your metabolism to lose weight, Mother Nature says you get to lose all your teeth and have an early heart attack.

It’s just best to work with Mother Nature, lose the weight in a controlled, steady, slow pace, and be healthy. I look back after four and a half years and think…wow that was quick. When you consider that it took me 40 years to weigh 600 pounds, 4 years to lose it seems fast.

Long live Elvis. 

Paulie