War on Weight – Week 2

Whether it is starting a new job, buying a new car, or picking up some new kicks, everything seems so exciting and so fly at the beginning of an adventure. However, you’ll probably get bored at work someday, your car will pick up a few dents at the Safeway parking lot, and your new shoes will eventually get scuffed (especially if you ride the Metro).

Unsurprisingly, the same applies to an ambitious new desire to lose weight. Things are a piece of (low-fat) cake during Week 1. And then reality sets in. Your willpower wanes, non-fat popcorn starts to taste like styrofoam, and the long hours at work take their toll.

But you got to fight back. Yo.

Or else you might wake up three years and 6,000 billable hours later and find yourself 40+ pounds heavier.

Although Week 2 of my War on Weight was definitely harder than the first, I’m still calling it a success. I weighed in today two pounds lighter than last week.

Holla.

As I’ve noted before, my weight struggles over the decades have usually been the result of insane bingeing. I’ve limited that a lot over the past two weeks. On Friday night, I ate four pieces of cheesecake in ten minutes. Thankfully, they were relatively small slices. On Sunday night, I woke up from a bizarre 10pm nap desperately craving peanut butter. As my wife and two babies slept peacefully (thanks, baby swings), me and Peter Pan had a party. However, I’m proud to say those were my worst “binges” of the week. Historically, four pieces of cheesecake or two PB&Js is what I would call a typical snack.

So Week Two was a success. I didn’t lose as much weight as I did in Week 1, but the scale moved down a little, I rode my bike 70+ miles, saved $30 on Metro fares, my clothes fit better, and I feel much healthier. Physically, mentally, and emotionally.

220 and 212:
War on Weight - Week 2

Week Three, let’s dance.

Carlton Dance

War on Weight – Week 1

Week One of my renewed emphasis on living a healthier life was a success:

I rode my bike 80 miles (and saved $40 on Metro fares).

I lost six pounds.

It no longer takes an act of God for me to put on my dress pants each morning.

Most importantly, I feel better. Physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I didn’t do any fad diets, supplements, or crazy workout routines. I just exercised more and ate a little less. Although I slacked off on the exercise over the weekend, and discovered that animal crackers and a tub of cake icing is a great combination, I avoided the binging disasters that have often haunted me. I also drank so much water that rising sea levels are no longer a global concern.

Most important, the My Fitness Pal app has been a Godsend for me. I’m addicted to food and often eat out of habit or when I’m bored. My Fitness Pal is the Jiminy Cricket I desperately need on my shoulder reminding me to ease up on the peanut butter.

Finally, thanks to everyone for your encouragement and recommendations! Suggestions are always welcome!

One week down, thousands more to go.

220 and 214:
20140429-171957.jpg

War on Weight

I need some help.

I need some accountability.

I need to lose some weight.

I’ve previously written about my 20ish-year struggle with my weight. There have been many ups and downs over the years. The victories are some of my proudest moments. The setbacks are some of my lowest lows.

Much like Justin Bieber’s career, I’ve been in a steep decline over the past year.

Man in the Mirror

260 to 180.  Now hanging out at 220 (not pictured due to tired/crazy dad eyes).

I’ve always struggled with eating healthy. I have some sort of food obsession, or just really weak willpower, and always find myself munching on something, eating out of boredom, or going back for a third serving of fajitas. I hate it, but it keeps on happening.

I’ve often been able to balance out the caloric gorging by exercising a ridiculous amount. In law school, I worked out twice a day and lost 70 pounds. However, after spending most of the past three years hanging out with my work computer, that isn’t feasible anymore. It’s hard for me to accept this fact, but I’ve gained 40 pounds since I started my job in September 2010. That’s dangerous and depressing.

Biking to and from work has often been a huge help in the past, but this past winter was brutal in DC and I have been too lazy over the past six months to get out there and pop some wheelies. That downturn in exercise coincided with an unfortunate uptick in snacking. This was probably due to increased stress and the fact that there was so much more junk food in our house with two little kids on the way.

Unfortunately, the food availability and snacking hit all-time highs (technically, lows) over the past few weeks of paternity leave. Sitting around all day in a house full of food and sweet treats is a bad combination for me. In short, I ate four packs of Oreos last week. Due to the constant cycle of feeding, burping, and diapers, I haven’t exercised in two weeks (except for the bouncing I do to help the kids fall asleep).

And now none of my pants fit.

Yes, some people may say they didn’t fit before, but now my skinny jeans are no-fit jeans. I finally swallowed my pride and ordered two pairs of bigger dress pants last week. I tried them on over the weekend and they didn’t fit either. I screamed.

It’s finally time to do something about it. Again.

I’ve been polluting my body with all this junk food. I feel gross and lethargic. My love for fashion is quickly waning when nothing fits right. I recently saw some amazing floral pants that were so beautifully tacky, but I didn’t even want to buy them because of my weight gain.

That can’t happen.

Okay, rant over.

Here’s the goal:

Lose 20 pounds by July 4th, 2014.

Here’s how I’m going to get there:

(1)  Bike to work each day that the weather permits.

(2)  Lift weights before leaving from work each day.

(3)  Write down all the food and drinks I consume. This one is already paying dividends as I’ve resisted some tempting cookies and candy bars all day.

(4) You. I need accountability. Badly.

Game on.

Man in the Mirror

I turn 31 next week. (Please don’t feel obligated to buy me a present that costs more than $100. I understand that times are tough.) I’ve spent most of those 31 years hating the way I looked. Shopping in the husky section as a kid sucked. Pool parties and beach days were worse. I wasn’t trying to start a new fashion trend by swimming in the pool while wearing a t-shirt.

Six years ago, I finally got tired of that mess. In early February 2008, I went to the gym and did the stair climber. After twenty sweat-drenched minutes, I died, went to heaven, and swapped stories with Abe Lincoln (FYI – he is Team Edward). Thankfully, God sent me back because someone had to take care of my dog. I went to the gym the next day.

And then the next 50 days too. I lost seventy pounds.

Man in the Mirror

For once in my life, I finally felt good about myself. It’s ridiculous that it took 26 years. It’s tragic that we live in a society that puts so much emphasis on obtaining an unattainable standard of beauty that so many of us walk around feeling like Jabba the Hutt. Social media doesn’t help. You see everyone else at their best, but you don’t see the 12 awkward versions of the photo that weren’t posted or run through an Instagram filter. The constant bombardment of images of perfectly fit and digitally-enhanced celebrities doesn’t help either. Put your shirt back on, Zac Efron!

Losing 70 pounds is one of my proudest accomplishments. However, I still struggle with my weight. Every. Single. Day. It is an albatross around my neck. I’ve gained 20 pounds over the past year. I feel guilty, I feel ashamed, I feel uncomfortable when none of my clothes fit anymore. All my pants have gone from slim fit to barely fit. I refer to myself as “fat” at least once a day. I think it a lot more times than that. I feel weak and worthless after eating that 19th Oreo or 7th slice of pizza. I feel miserable when I repeatedly fail at fitting exercise into a schedule that is packed full of so many other activities. I’m terrified that things will only get worse when the twins are born.

That’s not how we’re meant to live.  I don’t think you can have a healthy relationship with your friends, family, or even God if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself. That is still a struggle for me. I don’t know how to overcome it, but I think trying your best, understanding that the standards of beauty set by the media are stupid, and being content with yourself are prerequisites to living a joyful life. I also think it’s important to know that you’re not alone when you struggle with your insecurities.

I’m right there with you.

The Unexpected

One of my favorite songs is U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  Other than Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” I can’t think of a song with such meaningful lyrics.  I also like that classic U2 song because it applies to some of the interesting and amazing people who read this blog.

About 50 people a day find this blog through Google searches.  If you are one of those people, welcome.  I swear I’m not this weird in real life.  I hope.

The Unexpected

(nevermind)

Not only is WordPress kind enough to provide a lot of neat statistical information, it also lists the actual search terms people use to find this blog.  A lot of them are pretty normal:

-iceiceandrew
-iceice blog
-iceiceandrew blog

Some are a bit more unique, but make sense in light of my previous posts:

thankful for my job
is chipotle the best burrito
-chubbies shorts
-tom brady gq
-make life less boring
mermaid rap
faith isn’t easy
classic white boy rap songs
dude too old for justin timberlake
glee costumes
rules for flag football

But, whoa, some of them are crazy:

-[[ insert lots of porn searches here ]]
-is play that funky music white boy a love song (obviously)
-losing a best friend due to the thug life
-sometimes my husband sucks (my wife says the same thing)
-how boring is it when two people wear the same shoes (That is the worst!)
-awful dude selfies
has stone cold steve austin ever felt lonely (probably)
-was jackie robinson a thug (no)
-grease: where are they now
-what are some good lady gaga gifts (I want to be your friend.)
-sweaty shirt
-woman crush wednesday is my mom (Hello, Oedipus.)
-should i sing endless love to her when she walks down the aisle (Please invite me to your wedding.)

…and the scariest one my favorite…

“random old man told me god sent him to tell me i don’t need a miracle tonight but i’ll need one tomorrow at 4”

I’m not exactly sure what to say in response to that last one, but here are three random thoughts I do have:

(1)  Everyone is crazy.  Don’t waste time hiding your weirdness.  Own it.

(2)  We often spend so much time and energy searching for something to fulfill us, something we think we need, or something to make us happy.  You usually find those things when you’re not looking.

(3)  You never know what kind of impact you’ll have on the lives of other people.  The “small” actions of others have repeatedly served as incredible catalysts for change in my life.  My now-BFF Lamar did an epic “Men in Black” song and dance routine at Tallwood High School’s freshman orientation in 1997 that got me interested in student government.  I was SCA President a few years later.  Another friend, Joy, shared a link on Facebook in 2009 that introduced me to Capital City Church.  We helped plant a new church site last month.  Amanda made her first sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving in 2007.  I ate the whole dish, felt like I was going to die when I walked upstairs, and finally decided it was time to get in shape.  I lost 70 pounds.

Hopefully this blog has helped someone, whether it was a friend who saw a link I posted on Facebook or a dude looking for porn who found a post about community service instead.

Your words and actions will impact others in great and profound ways.  Even if you don’t know it.  They might be friends, they might be family, or they might be strangers who also like Lady Gaga.  However, if some dude tells you that you’ll need a miracle at 4pm tomorrow, just run away.