Heading Back Down

 Well, after once again maxing out near my all-time high weight, I am headed back down again. I don't know why I let myself go until I hit that crisis point before turning around, but it feels much better to be losing weight than it does to be gaining it. My body physically feels much better. 

I am trying to focus on wise eating choices and clean eating. Kathy has been feeling extra fatigued, so I'm trying to prepare food for her and the whole family that will be dense in micronutrients and antioxidants, such as berries, raw nuts, and lots of leafy green veggies.

I don't have much else to say other than it is embarrassing to be here once again, into the month of May, and to be starting over again for the most part. But I'm swallowing my pride and continuing to write about the journey.


Preparing for my annual physical later this week. If I lose another 2 lbs this week, I will go in weighing 20 lbs less than when I went for my previous physical a year and a half ago. The good news about that is, rather than being a short-term sprint, this will represent a slow, steady progress. Imagine if I were to lose 20 pounds year over year. Soon I wouldn't need to, but if I did so until at a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle, this would be a more consistent approach and I imagine it would be much longer lasting. 

To get there this week, I need to re-introduce the fresh vegetables and beans that I've been without the past several weeks as I've been through quite a bit of sickness and haven't been wanting to eat much. I've noticed a difference in not feeling strength and energy needed for many of life's demands, and I think that restoring fresh produce and beans will help tremendously, especially since I've been feeling a bit better recently in terms of recovering from the sickness I've had for the past several weeks. 

Derailed Momentarily

Well, I've got good and bad news. I caught pneumonia and have just really been out of it the past two weeks. The good news is I lost a few pounds in the process. The bad news is I haven't kept up my entries on this site nor have I paid near as much attention to what I'm eating. I haven't been able to prepare nutritious food choices, go to the store, or really anything other than sit/lay down. I'm glad that I'm ending this pneumonia (starting to feel better today) on the lower end of the weight scale but realize there are several risks at play here. As my appetite returns, I run the risk of eating anything I want and having it start to add the pounds right back on. And since I've been out of the habit of recording food eaten on my app, haven't been reading nutritional information to stay motivated, haven't been getting exercise and haven't been doing regular blog entries, I am not in the best position moving forward unless I make immediate adjustments.

Getting sick right after the Europe trip was really a bummer as I was ready to get back into the patterns that were working for me before the trip, but then abandoned them when I got sick. The sad thing is, I would probably have gotten over this illness much more quickly if I had taken tons of antioxidants into my system like I would have had I kept up the high-quality eating.

In any case, one thing I have learned through this experience so far this year is that the past doesn't matter as much as what I do today. I've known people, myself included, who have lost 50 lbs or even 100 lbs through a combination of restrained eating, better food choices and exercise, but then they feel like they've accomplished something so major that they can celebrate by eating more leniently. And the pounds start to come back on, 5 lbs at a time. I've done that so many times.

I've also done the opposite, where I feel like since I'm doing so poorly in recent times, I might as well continue the streak of eating poorly...thinking "what's the use?" In both cases, thinking of the past is harmful, as opposed to thinking of today. I am learning to start to focus just on today...how can I make the best choices in the context I am in today? And I think 100 todays will add together to make a successful tomorrow.


Woke up feeling pretty good today...weighted in at 263, so only 1 lb about the pre-vacation weight, and feel like I've finally shed some of the water I was retaining after the flight home. 

I've been trying some of the sprouted grain bread lately and really like them. For example, this morning I had an Ezekiel Bread English muffin with some all-fruit jam, and it was great. In fact, I don't think I'd ever pick a high sugar processed breakfast over it.

Yesterday, I read about the impact of ground flaxseed and herbal hibiscus tea on blood pressure. Controlled studies have yielded better results from having hibiscus leaves soaked in water (hot or cold) than have blood pressure medications themselves. And flaxseed has amazing properties that lower blood pressure and cholesterol as well. It is interesting that in some studies, about 50% of people have a positive result (meaning the blood level of cholesterol or the blood pressure lowers) but the other 50% don't have any impact that is notable. But 50% is pretty good odds for something that doesn't have apparent side effects...I'd take those odds for the potential improvements in vital readings.

Went shopping today at Vitamin Cottage, which is a good thing...at other times in my life I've gone on a health kick and made a huge shopping trip to Vitamin Cottage (with organic produce, less-processed foods and generally more healthy selections), never to return. So, going multiple times is a good thing. Planned out meals for the rest of the week. 

I sure missed fresh produce while on vacation. Not that it wasn't available at all...I did have an occasional apple, banana or orange, but I've come to really enjoy having berries each day or other produce high in antioxidants, and these were sparse on the cruise and on vacation in general.


Today was a day of meetings. I started the morning with an Acai smoothie and headed into the meetings. Had lunch with Bishop Remer at Taco Bell, which is a challenging place to go and eat anything nutritious. I had a pintos and cheese (yellow), a bean burrito (yellow) and water. More than the nutritional content, I am concerned about the amount of sodium -- had to be a huge amount.   


Kathy was really sick today with a cold virus, so it was a different kind of day. Everything went quickly by, and not much happened out of the ordinary. I ate clean food choices for at least 80% of the day. But a lot of it was in the evening, which, of course, means my weight stays the same in the morning


You know, I have to remind myself that when I started the clean eating changes back on 12/28/15, I made note that I was not going to get too excited about weight loss progress (pounds coming off), nor was I going to get too worried about lack of weight loss progress, as long as I was eating clean. 

I have to keep that in mind right now because after an exhilarating week last week where I dropped a pound a day, I seem now to have stabilized right around the 260 - 262 range, going up a few pounds from when I broke into the 250s. I have to admit that it is difficult not to panic...I mean, I'm eating steamed Brussel's Sprouts for dinner and passing up the meat and dairy based foods, but then seeing the scale either not move down at all or move up by a pound or too...it just doesn't feel right.


Frustrated with myself this morning. Weighed in at 252 lbs, and I understand there will be ups and downs in my weight based on a number of factors, but I have not done things to help myself this past week very much. I, once again, ate food right before bed last night, and once again was too liberal about what constitutes "yellow" food and how much to eat. 

I had steak, more than I planned on eating, for dinner. It was high in sodium and is clearly a yellow food, but I kept on eating it rather than only eating the amount on my plate. I also ate lemon blueberry pancakes that Bekah got out for lunch. And I even put maple syrup on them, which is either a yellow or a red food, and yet I kept eating them. And then Kathy made Strawberry bread and I nibbled at that, with the nibbles turning into eating pieces of it. So, overall, I had a day of eating much more yellow food and probably some red, rather than making it to the 80% green target.  

The lack of fresh vegetables, especially greens, in my diet this past week is really telling. I feel less hydrated and more like eating starchy foods. I also have done poorly at planning out what to eat in advance, compared with other weeks. I will get both of these back on track this week and pair them with exercise. My goal is to walk at least 5,000 steps per day each day this week and to do at least one exercise routine through an app each evening this week. 


Today, I weighed in in the 250s, a target I've been looking forward to for a while. When I'm in the 260s and 270s, my clothes don't fit well, my blood pressure is strained, I have low energy, I don't like the way I look, and some movements are difficult, such as bending to get things on the ground. In the 250s, I feel like I start to take an edge off of the super-high weight. Even still, it won't be until 243 that I hit the 10% weight lost target and feel more able to do things like work out. But moving into a different set of 10s on the scale feels encouraging. 

I don't know how many times I've lost weight and told myself "I will never allow myself to weigh in the 270s again, or the 260s, etc." only to end up there once again once I quite trying and quit caring. Putting the pounds on happens so quickly. I remember being down to 220 lbs right when we were about to move to Colorado. I made a trip here (we owned the house already) to get some work done in a concentrated period of time, and I remember stepping on the scale and hitting the 220 mark. I had been doing personal training in Arizona for some time, and I reached the point of losing more than 50 lbs. But I felt like I was starving...I eating a low carb diet, mostly meats and vegetables. Before I left Colorado to head back home, I went to the store and bought a box of chocolates and ate the whole thing. Then I went to The Black Eyed Pea restaurant and ate a huge meal of stuff that was fried. It was like I had held my breath as long as I could tolerate and was finally letting go and returning to my old eating habits. And I did...the cravings and the old habits returned with a vengeance and I put the pounds back on 5 at a time for the next few months, finding myself right back where I had started. 

It's not like I was unaware of what was happening--I knew the talk about changing your lifestyle forever rather than going on a deprivation diet. But the truth was I didn't want to have a life where I was deprived of what I wanted, so I was holding on until I lost enough weight, so I could then return to my old ways. The problem was, returning was like surrendering to nearly-uncontrollable cravings. I remember being in church and having an immense craving to leave right then and go buy two or three bags of candy and down them all at once. It didn't make much sense at all, but I remember the feeling being so powerful it nearly consumed me. 


Interestingly, I've somehow managed to drop a pound a day the last 5 or 6 days after being leveled off or going slightly up or down for the week or two prior. I'm not sure I'm doing anything too drastically different. Maybe a little less salt and haven't been eating much of a lunch (which isn't a good thing). But surprisingly, I've had fairly large dinners the last few nights, making up for some lost ground from the missed lunches, to be sure I get enough vegetables, grains, etc. in my food for the day. You'd think that eating more at night would cause you to weigh more in the morning. Go figure! In any case, I'll take it and am really looking forward to being in the 250s again. It's been a while.

It is fascinating to me how I can hover for months in the 270 - 278 range, only dipping occasionally into the high 268s, and then move to eating cleanly for a 2 or 2 1/2 week period consecutively and be on the edge of cutting into the 250s now. Just 2 weeks of consistency makes that much difference, which is just amazing to me. When eating poorly, I feel like I can't even go a day or half a day without something bad for me...whether sugary, full of saturated fat, high in sodium or some other thing that is not nutritious. It is as if the fat cells in my body, which are multiplying at the time, are calling out for more to join them as they slowly take over my organs and my body. But, eat clean for a few weeks, and those cravings for junk are nearly vanquished, and I relish the fruits, vegetables and grains I get to eat. 

When people talk about the Standard American Diet (SAD), it really is amazing how poor in nutrition it is. I can go days without eating a single vegetable or fruit, other than some overly-processed version of them.


I ate a lot of food last night for dinner, so I was surprised to weigh in at 263 this morning--down another pound from yesterday's weigh in. It could be because I slept in until about 10am, so was a bit lighter by that time of morning after not eating breakfast yet. Or it could be that it wasn't high-sodium food, so it didn't make me retain a bunch of water like higher sodium items might have. In any case, I'll take it and am looking forward to getting into the 250 range...that is the range where I start to feel more hopeful again. And 240s are where I start to notice some real progress. And 230s I'm starting to feel great. And 220s are the lowest range I've been in since graduating from college in 1996. And 200s are the lowest I've been since being married. And 190s are the lowest since my mission. And 170s the lowest since high school. And that is where I have no idea of anything prior to that. I recall that I gained into the high 180s or 190s when I was a junior in high school but lost about 20 pounds over the summer between junior and senior year, so that I was down in the 270s for senior year. Then I didn't gain anything beyond that until my mission. When I came home from my mission, I weighed around 190, but I lost some of that during the first few semesters being home...lots of walking and stair climbing and not lots of food.