an average male bald eagle carrying a four-pound bag of sugar

Six months ago, I weighed in at 195.4 pounds. That was after I came in higher at a doctor’s appointment and began making adjustments a few weeks before because walking up the hill to my barber was strenuous and I felt like I was going to die when I walked with a friend all of one mile.

Last month, I did a four-mile loop like nothing, I try to pedal for at least half an hour on the exercise bike and now I’m down 15 pounds, five of which were shed in the past 31 days.

In short, I’m down since January the equivalent of an average male bald eagle carrying a four-pound bag of sugar.

I’m 180.2 pounds as of this morning.

I hit a plateau after losing the first 10 pounds. It was annoying, but I resigned myself because I said I wasn’t going to do anything I wouldn’t normally do (other than adjusting my meals) in the course of trying to lose weight.

I used to bike a lot, and I’ve said I would walk/bike to work if I didn’t have to go through Shockoe Bottom at night and I didn’t nearly rip my face off the last time I rode a bike back in 2009. (Seriously, I really screwed up my face in 2009, if you didn’t know me back then. The doctors were surprised by how well I recovered. In the days following the crash, I was given information about plastic surgery.)

That said, I’m toying with cycling 30 minutes a day five days a week to mimic what would happen if I didn’t have an aversion to riding a real bike or the trip to work didn’t involve going down nearly 50 feet and climbing up about 190 feet.

I’m five pounds off of where my doctor at least wants me to be and 20 pounds off my January goal for June, which probably was completely unrealistic without really working out. And, again, I don’t want to really work out, because if I ever say “screw the gym,” I’d be back where we started.

Well, the celebration’s over. It’s time to keep moving.

lifestyler 2000

Momentarily confuses Rosanna with Joanna; gets Black Card revoked.

185.8

I should have weighed in last week. It was better.

I had a few days of eating poorly because I did something awesome.

I saw Prince’s first real band, The Revolution, on Thursday. It screwed up my sleep schedule and my eating and I don’t regret a single second of it.

When I saw that they were touring again to honor Prince, I literally dropped everything and took the day off. I’m not even using literally figuratively, as people are wont to do these days. It came across the AP wire while I was on celebrity news duty. I got up, told my technical supervisor (I don’t have a real boss. It’s kinda weird.) I was not working that day, walked back to my desk, asked my fraternity brother Butler if he was down with going with me and ordered tickets after he said yes.

And then my other brother Brandon said he was in, too.

It was awesome.

I was hoarse.

Then I went to karaoke and sang Super Freak and then Body and Soul by Anita Baker.

There is video. I don’t know where.  Body and Soul was one of songs I’ve always wanted to do at karaoke, but it’s rarely on karaoke lists. I really want to do a song by The National or Death Cab for Cutie. There was a Death Cab song, but it was Grapevine Fires. I like that song, but it doesn’t have a bass line at all, and it always bothered me. It’s the one song I definitely don’t like on Narrow Stairs. Once I have the video, I will share it. I think I paid for video.

But I digress.

But wait: I don’t digress. Rosanna and Grapevine Fires both share a drumming that hearkens to the Purdie Shuffle.

But, anyway, I also bought an exercise bike over the weekend. It was one Craig had in his living room for a while. He’s moving to Maryland, and I offered to take it off his hands. The model is the title of this entry.

I had planned for years to buy and exercise bike. I’m still not ready to get on a real bike again. I think I’ll wait a full 10 years.

But I’m working this into my at least 5-mile regimen. I plan on pedaling at least 30 minutes at least every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Today doesn’t count. I have stuff to do that I planned before buying the bike.

I used to be an endurance bike rider. I would do 20 miles like nothing. There was no time frame; it was just we’re going to Yorktown and back with a gallon jug of water in the backpack. I miss it. But I spent my entire childhood biking in a place without real hills. I wasn’t ready for Richmond. Although I say I might be in 2019, I don’t know if I am. My wreck in 2009 was my second real crash in probably more than 20 years of riding a bike at the time and the first time I had to go to a hospital about it.

(I seriously broke my arm in but played it off in like seventh grade. It healed correctly, thankfully, but I broke my frickin’ arm and pretended that I didn’t. For a while, I called it my “chicken wing” because I couldn’t hold it out straight unless the situation necessitated it. I seriously gambled my ability to have full use of my right arm over telling my parents that I attempted a stunt and failed.)

But I think throwing this in the mix will help break this plateau. Regardless of it being a plateau, I’ve tightened my belt and I look better in shirts. My doctor wants me to be no more than 170 and gave me until November.

Challenge accepted.

because i’m too tired to go to bed

There was  a long period when I didn’t go to the doctor. When I fell off my bicycle back in 2009 and my insurance company didn’t cover it partially because of a mistake on my part, I didn’t have insurance for the next 2½ years and then didn’t go to a doctor again until 2016 because I had fallen out of the habit.

Yesterday, other than being my mom’s first visit to Richmond since I moved into my new place (that I wish I didn’t have to move out of in April 2018, but my dog seriously needs a yard), was my third checkup since December. My new doctor wanted to get a baseline of my vitals because it had been so long. And because I was fat.

She commended me for my weight loss so far. Although I have been laden with various layers of winter clothing each time I was on the scale at her office, I’ve lost more weight by her measure, but I weigh more than what my scale says. She wants me to lose 10 more pounds — to which I said something along the lines of I will once I come there when it’s above 52 degrees.

She gave me six months.

If I’m in the lower 170s with clothes on by October, I only need to see her once a year.

She’s giving me six months to get within 10 pounds of my goal for June.

Doable.

I dug out the belts I had to abandon two years ago because I outgrew them. The last notch on my fat belt is equivalent to the first notch on my skinny belts.

Now I’m really considering actually exerting myself.

{If anyone wants to encourage me in exerting myself [as long as it doesn’t involve running (at the moment)], I’m available most mornings between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.}

I had been waiting a long time to use the hierarchy of parenthesis.

success

I’m on the last notch of the belt I bought because I was too fat for my old belt.

Officially made it on Friday

Additionally, I wore the European large shirt I’ve been largely avoiding since buying it without trying it on.

My gut has reached the point where you can’t tell it exists if my shirt isn’t tucked in.

But, per the scale, I haven’t lost any weight. I’m assuming the fat has left my midsection and has become muscle elsewhere. I mean, I walk at least five miles each day and average 20 flights of stairs.

I’m almost at shirtless confidence. If I stay 180-something with a flat stomach, I’ll take it. I don’t need abs. And abs were not a goal, especially since this is all me not exerting myself more than normal.

But now I contemplate the gym …

clarification

I’m purposely doing this without exerting myself more than what I normally do, which probably is the problem.

“Of course you’re not really losing any weight; you’re not doing anything to burn it off.”

Well, I’m not going to do something I’m not going to keep up with later. And that got me about 20 pounds.

Sure, I could go hit the gym three times a week. But then I’ll catch a cold or I’ll go on vacation or there’s something I really need to do or I’d rather watch TV and I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about someone’s thinspirational poster saying I should go anyway.

So I’m just changing my diet.

I’m not stress eating or anything like I was commuting to Charlottesville from Richmond, and I’m not eating as much in general.

My biggest problem now is that I’m not walking as much as I normally do. Once I take Missy out in the morning and come back in, I’m usually not keen on taking a second walk because I covered part of where I wanted to go when I took her out. We’re getting a travel water dish so I can take her farther, but I don’t want to go too far until she finishes her training.

But I do miss my eight-mile treks around the city.

I’m currently looking at a four-mile loop I recently did when I was incredibly bored and didn’t realize how amazing Shameless was. It’s a good start, and should just take an hour.

It might be time to make some time.

i demand a recount

183.4.

Oh, come on. I had to have lost more than that.

I have a shirt I have been trying on since January to gauge how things are going. I bought it in 2015 without trying it on because it was a large shirt. I didn’t realize it was a European large shirt, which is somewhere between medium and large in ‘Murica.

We’ve gone from “I cannot wear this outside this apartment” to “It’s not as tight” to “I almost can pull this off” to “Yeah, I could wear this before spring is over.”

OK. So the last two ones were pretty similar. Maybe the scale is correct and I haven’t lost or gained any weight since the miraculous 10-pound drop from January to February.

I haven’t been as disciplined with the protein shakes after I ran out in January. I’m currently a container behind (granted, the shipments have been arriving earlier and earlier). But I’ve been eating less and, according to this Fitbit, I almost consistently get more than 10,000 steps a day and climb stairs like a champ.

I’m purposely doing this without exerting myself more than what I normally do, which probably is the problem.

Whatever.

I still have until June to get to 160. But I’ll take 170-something. For now.

50/50

185.2.

Essentially, I neither lost nor gained in February. But I definitely gained, and then lost and did both in different areas. Here’s a recap, in no particular order.

  • I didn’t order enough of the protein supplement, so I switched to a bottled brand. I wound up eating more because it wasn’t enough to sate my appetite.
  • I ate more in general because we celebrated our actual anniversary (Feb. 13) with a couple of meals out.
  • Then the Super Bowl happened. I ate at both my mom’s house and my mother-in-law’s.
  • I caught a cold. I went about five days with little to no physical activity.

I knew a month like this would happen; it’s part of the reason that I gave myself six months.

But pants I bought recently are too big. I also easily slipped on a pair that I typically have to put on by sucking everything in and praying I don’t have to unbutton them until I get home.

Additionally, I ate more carbs in February, and it was kinda weird. I decided to go the entire month without beer to see what would happen. One of the oddest moments was when I really wanted a beer, ate a roll and then didn’t want a beer. Because of the breakdowns of my routine in the first half of February, I’m going to extend this to April. My apologies to Legend Brewing Co. of Richmond.

rice

We are on Dryruary* Day 16. The asterisk is for wine and liquor. So far, I’ve learned that I’m kinda over straight liquor, I really miss a good stout and I definitely was getting the majority of my carbs from beer.

I got Chinese food for lunch because the steaks we got for Wednesday were smaller than I expected, so I’m letting Renée have both. I was going to get it from the mediocre place I can walk to but they didn’t pick up the phone. Instead, I ordered from the place I like and had it delivered. I got an appetizer to fulfill the minimum delivery (and totally ordered the wrong thing), so I was full before I could get to the mountain of pork fried rice that comes with every Chinese food combo in the United States of America.

I’ve been thinking about the fried rice all day.

All

Day.

So now it’s 12:30 a.m. and I’m eating pork fried rice like a man possessed. I’m not even hungry; I just needed it.

That said, I’d rather get my carbs from beer.

*drumroll*

I’m eating as I write this. Seriously.

Despite winding up eating late at night for the past few days, I’m at 184.8 pounds. That’s roughly 10½ pounds since Jan. 1. I started at 195.4.

That’s also a promising start.

I’m not expecting every month to be 10 fewer pounds, especially since that would leave me at about 135 pounds in June, and I don’t want to be 135. Furthermore, I don’t think I’ve been 135 pounds since elementary school.

When I say my grandma fattened me up, I mean she fattened me up.

I don’t clearly recall a time before puberty without shopping in the husky section. Or a pants size smaller than 30.

But, anyway, I’m down 10 pounds and I’m eating at 12:20 a.m. It’s not celebratory. As I mentioned before, I had to tweak my diet regimen slightly and it’s leaving me hungry by the end of the day. I’m annoyed by it because I don’t like eating this late on a daily basis. I’m going to try something out after I wake up later and see if it works.

Also, I’m going to bug my friends who are in this with me to see where they are so far.

dryruary

In a few short hours, I’m going to hop on the scale and see where we are after one month of deciding to do something about being Fatty McButterpants. I’m estimating 8-10 pounds, which is good, because I’ll reach my target early and can eat somewhat poorly again so I don’t waste away.

I ate poorly over the weekend, partially on purpose, so it probably won’t be as fantastic as it could be. The biggest problem is that I ran out of a nutritional supplement I was using and temporarily replaced it with something that does not make me feel as full as what I had. (Basically, I went to milk consistency from milkshake consistency.) Usually, I’d eat fruit or vegetables if I felt hungry again around midnight, but I had Korean fried chicken Saturday night and a big honkin’ bowl of spaghetti Sunday night. Tonight, I had a chef’s salad, which might as well be a Whopper. At least I didn’t put ranch on it. But my next shipment, with the appropriate amount, comes next week and I’ll be back to my newish routine.

This month, I’ve decided to throw something else into the mix. In addition to averaging more than 80 minutes of physical activity a day, I’m going to attempt something I don’t think I’ve done in about four years: go an entire month without booze.

That sounds really bad.

I don’t mean I get blackout drunk every couple of days or so. I mean we sometimes have wine with dinner or I get some pretentious craft beer or I drink a sixer over the course of two or three days or I take a Lyft to a friend’s house because I decided in advance to be in no condition to drive back.

Going three weeks without booze in Charlottesville was an accident. I think I was 2½ weeks in before I even realized it. Then, on my way home from work, my car skidded in the ice and snow and crashed into a pole in front of my own house. I decided I needed a drink after that.

But, anyway, booze is kinda fattening, especially since I’ve gone from drinking straight liquor out of teacups to joining the craft beer craze. I just want to see if I lose more in February without liquid bread in my belly.

But, I normally don’t eat carbs, so I’m also wondering if I’ll wind up craving potatoes, bread and/or rice. If that’s the case, then I’ll know that beer is just how I get my carbs and the alcohol content is a nice little perk.

It’s kinda like how I stopped drinking soda when I switched to sparkling water when I realized all I wanted was the carbonation. If beer stops me from eating mashed potatoes, so be it.

But, for now, forget Dryuary, it’s Dryruary.