Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Final Hours!

I've got a bag of celery, a bag of grapes and an apple at my desk.

My goal for the day: eat only these things, no more.

Sucks to be me right now.

But I think it'll be worth it. It's final hours crunch time. Time to separate the women from the girls, the men from the boys.

Weigh-out is in 40 hours from now. I've got to get lower than I am now (I'm still only down about 15 lbs.). I'd be lying if I said I was happy with myself. I thought I had a lot more fat-melting potential. I guess as I get older, the metabolism slows. Fifteen pounds in 100 days? Gosh, that's kinda sad.

Although the weight's been a struggle, I feel so much more healthy than I did 100 days ago! I'm so happy that I can climb a flight of stairs and still carry on a conversation with someone. If I'm on the phone after climbing stairs, no longer does the other person ask, "Dude, are you jogging right now?"

Thank you, thank you, to the Heart Services team. Maria, Traci, Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Carter, etc. etc. etc. They run such a wonderful program here at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. The best, in my opinion. To give people the chance to reconnect with healthy living is such a prize. It's something I'm so grateful for.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Plateau of Blogging...and Weight

It's been a rough few weeks. I admit...I've been critical of all those 100-Day participants in seasons past who fail to take time to blog. I've darn near joined the ranks. I hope to be much better from now until we complete the 100-Day Challenge!

To make matters worse, I seem to have hit a stubborn plateau in my weight loss. I'm still hovering around 15 lbs.  Pretty sad, if you ask me! I've tried to be really good with eating (though I admit I've compromised a few days on some things) and the exercise has gone well (Jocelyn does such a great job with us). It's interesting to note how much harder it's been for me to lose weight when just five years ago, I had a much easier time shedding the pounds.

Perhaps I've got a lean six pack now as a result of my exercise.  It's just under several warm layers of lard. Come on, six pack. Come on.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Challenge. It's been great for me and my family.

My goal is to lose eight to 10 more pounds before the Challenge is through in just three short weeks. Looking at what I THINK has been a significant cut back in eating for the previous 80 days, I may have to go ahead and eat dryer lint to make this all work.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hello, my friends

I guess that title implies people are actually READING this blog.  I'm sorry (if there are any out there) for being absent for so long. Here's a summary:

1) Wight Loss? Going well!
I've not lost near the amount of weight I would like up to this point, but I'm certainly making improvement.  I'm down 13 pounds. I think my goal for the end of all this is 30 lbs. That would be nice -- and only about half of what I really need to lose.

2) Exercising? Getting worked.
Jocelyn has been kicking my can on the work outs (which I only appreciate about 2.4 hours AFTER the fact).  She makes me do all this stuff (like prance around the gym and blow kisses to others on each prancy jump, kiss my biceps when I do each arm curl, and scream, "I'M WORTH MORE THAN ANY OTHER SOUL IN THIS GYM RIGHT NOW!!!") while doing bench presses, but I guess it's cool. OK, OK, every bit of information in that last sentence is not true. Truth be told, I am making some great improvements in the gym each week and feel like my capacity to do more is growing each time I return.  I'm grateful for that. Now, the whole 5:30 a.m. thing? I don't think I'll ever be happy having to show up anywhere but in a room full of parakeets and pillows at that time.

3) Eating? Going marginally well, I guess.
1,500 calories is where I shoot each day, which is (I'll be the first to admit) NOT sustainable, annoying to do, a cause for intense grouchyness, cause for jealousy when I see others NOT eating like four-year-old girls and a whole host of other things. I hate it. But, as Paul (one of my teammates) tells me, "You just got to suck it up and deal with it." Thanks, Paul.

4) Balancing all this with everything else I got to do? Hard, but necessary.
Nothing more to say on this.  If I want to be around to see my kids get married, I need to change my life. I just need to change it without the "Woe is me" mentality every day.

I've got to do better blogging. It's always a good 'out,' you know?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Keep on, Keepin on

Things have been slightly frustrating lately.  I've been doing what I think is pretty super well with eating right (I'm hitting my goal of about 1,800 calories per day) and I've been exercising well, but the weight is coming off so very slowly. I'm down about six pounds is all and I feel like I'm busing my can out there.

Jocelyn and Traci are ramping things up at the gym.  Two hours this morning -- it was quite the work out. 

We did have a great group discussion this week on the topic of 'change' with Marlene, one of the wonderful social workers here at Intermountain.  She's just got a great way to connect with groups and individuals.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Getting better

As fun as the Fourth was this year, I'm glad it's behind me.  The food made available on holidays are a killer for a weak-willed guy like me.  I'm glad Tuesday came -- I'm doing much better now.

I've been tracking my eating here and it's been going pretty well.

I think I'm down five lbs right now, but the belt seems to be getting a little looser.  Exercise has been great, too.  I'm glad to have many people working to support me through the process -- many of them volunteers.

I've just got to keep on keepin' on.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Rachel (that's my hunna') and I have a rule of prohibiting our kids from sleeping in our bed.  However, our middle son has been struggling to sleep well, particularly the past few nights.  He came in crying (pretty sure he fell off his bed) in the middle of the night. Knowing he's always got a full bladder, I motioned to him to use the bathroom.  He then, without really asking, climbed up in bed to snuggle next to me.  I admit, I kinda liked it for the first little bit. Then, knowing I was stealing all his covers (as evidenced by my awakening several times after a few minutes of sleep to see him curled up in the fetal position) I asked if I could take him to his own bed.  I promise I'll be able to make him stay warm. He's quick to comply. I thought through all of this that it was surely 4:53 a.m., then 5:02, then 5:12 -- just three minutes before my forsaken alarm would get me up to go to the gym.

How happy I was it was only 2:12 a.m. I thought, "I've got three more hours...and I've been sleeping for about that long.  This is good!" However, whatever feelings of goodness I had at 2:12 were dashed to smithereens when 5:15 rolled around."I'm sooo tired!" I thought to myself. "Don't'll be glad you did this in about two hours."

And I was. But oh. my. goodness. The two hours in between 5:15 and 7:15 sure were a kick in the fat-ridden belly.

Why did Traci have to be at the gym this morning?

My trainer. She's so nice. So kind. Traci? Well, yeah, she's one of my favorite people in the world...but not when she's on a mission.

If you wonder what my morning was like, just view this 30 second video:

OK, OK. She's not that bad. But it's because of her that I'm having a hard time walking today...and only feeling 37% normal. Thanks, Traci!

Thanks to Jocelyn (she's my trainer) for being sa' nice. I have a feeling, though, that Jocelyn observed a little too much today.  I'm a little worried my work outs will be a little different from now on. Nice.

Update on my progress: Not losing it fast enough. Only down a couple pounds.  I know I've got great potential, I've just got to get the eating piece down.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vacationing=no good

Vacationing is pretty tough for keeping on top of things with weight loss and exercise.  I did pretty well with exercise, not so well with eating well.  I'm looking forward to hitting the gym in the morning. I'm sure I'll wish to retract that feeling of anticipation when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Say what?

Question: Do you ever hear anything pleasant about the term "P90X?" Let me give you a listing of the terms or phrases I most often hear when people discuss this work out program -- a program that has a name that sounds like it belongs in tattoo form on the back of a WWE/WWF guy's bald head, (and only sounds cool to guys who have man crushes on Vin Diesel and love movies like Fast and the Furious). Anyway, when I hear people talk P90X, I hear things like:

1) 'horrible'
2) 'painful'
3) "I can't walk today"
4) "I can only eat twigs and berries with a little bit of water on top -- at least til I get to phase II"
5) "Don't make me laugh, I did P90X last night and my stomach feels like it has knives jabbing through it."

So, when I was meeting with my new trainer, Jocelyn (who will be great, I think) and Traci (one of the best gals around) and they looked at each other during my elliptical journey and said, "Yeah, for stomach work outs for Ethan, lets have him do a couple P90X things." They were all smiling and winking at each other. I was like, "I'd rather you take real knives and jab me a few times in my belly instead (knowing the depth of the knife wounds would not penetrate the abnormally thick layer of adipose tissue and reach any internal organs)."

As they both thought of putting me through this, I could tell they were giving each other virtual high fives, followed with virtual fist bumps that are met with an audible (Fast and the Furious-like) explosion sound. People who like P90X think the fist-bump + explosion-sound combo is cool. 

Not sure if I made my point. But I don't like thinking about doing any sort of P90X stuff. Not at all.

But I'll do it. It will be good for me. I'll be healthier and happier as a result -- in the end, right?

I feel super lucky to be on board. And super fortunate to have a spouse who supports me in the effort. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The journey begins

I must admit, I ate a monster serving of ice cream last night. I think I felt a tear drop roll down my cheek as I closed out that chapter of my life. sweets. so good. so bad.

I know. Someone who is reading this (who probably weighs 123 lbs and doesn't have to work too hard to stay fit) is saying, "Ethan! It doesn't have to be like that! You can have sweets; those things aren't bad!" To you, do I need to remind you that you just don't get it? Having a food addiction is tough. It's tough to kick, despite realizing you NEED to kick it when its far too easy (and often acceptable) to keep things just the way they are. Often, I've faced not even WANTING to kick it, knowing how difficult the road to 'recovery' is.

Speaking of recovery, you see, when I was 24, I weighed in at a whopping 246 lbs. That was big. Unacceptable. Uncomfortable. Embarrassing. Trying. Sad. I had a great mentor (who was also my boss) who asked if I would commit to allow him to help me. Perhaps it was because he was my boss, but I committed.  Before I knew it, I was eating healthy and exercising much. It sucked to plan meals. It sucked for my wife, who had to make the meals. X amount of protein here; Y amount of carbs there.  It was EXHAUSTING at times.  But I feel like I approached things, for the most part, correctly.  Over the span of 18 months, I lost 57 lbs, reaching a total weight of 189. It felt really good to be fit. I could breathe easier. I could frolic and play. I only had a small gut. Clothes fit. I was in control. It was nice.

Then it happened.

Stress. Change. Kids. A wife who (luckily) wasn't going to hit the road because her husband would eat too much. But it was mostly the stress. I was working a LOT and trying to plan for an MBA. Soon after came the move to Provo where my time with Intermountain Healthcare continued at American Fork Hospital. More stress came as we yet experienced great blessings. I was accepted into USU's MBA program, was asked to contribute significant volunteer time for my church was continuing to stay very busy with work. Exercise and eating healthy would come and go, mostly lasting three weeks at a time before hitting a wall. Then, the five to eight pounds I had lost during that time was back in my belly, perpetuating my discomfort and worsening my disbelief that I would get back on track. At 28, I was back to 140. Now, at nearly 32, I weigh 149 lbs. What the crap.

What am I going to do? I'm nervous. Mostly that I won't be successful at this. But having to give an accounting to others on my progress (and failures) is a way I'll more likely find success. And I worry that the very thing that tends to be my downfall (stress) will be tougher to manage with even more church responsibilities and a new job with more responsibilities.

We'll be OK. I'll be OK.