jayfurr: (Hiking inna dark)
Carole and I routinely dispute the question of when seasons officially start. I've tended toward the point of view that the seasons start at the moments of equinox and solstice, basically cleaving to the strict astronomical definition, while she tends more toward a definition of June-July-August being summer, September-October-November being fall, December-January-February being winter, and March-April-May being spring.

Neither of us is really all that "right" when you get down to it. It all depends on where you live, latitude-wise. Here in Vermont fall seems to last for about a month, from mid-September until mid-October, and then we get right to the gray depressing skies and leafless trees that make up a weird season that doesn't really feel like "winter" because there's no snow on the ground, but certainly isn't "fall" either because the leaves have long since come down. Winter starts when we get the first sizable snowfall and lasts until the end of March at the earliest -- and can carry on until May if we work it just right. Along about mid-April or early May we usually start another of Vermont's weird seasons, "mud season", where the ground is still frozen but there's enough rain falling that the top layer of soil basically liquefies. With frozen soil a few inches down, the water has nowhere to drain away to and simply turns the top six inches of every dirt road to impassable muck.

So, yeah, in Vermont it's more meaningful to think in terms of the actual climatological conditions outside:

Warm and sunny: Summer (a couple of weeks here and there in July and August)
Tons of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites driving around photographing trees: Fall
Gray and miserable, with no leaves on the trees but no snow on the ground yet to brighten things: Despair
Lots of snow and cold: Winter
Cars stuck in the mud: Mud season
Maple festivals everywhere: Early spring
Still an imminent possibility of a late-season blizzard: Spring

But there's another way of looking at it that I think is most relevant of all: light versus dark.

Now that daylight saving time runs almost eight months out of the year and 'standard' time is only a bit over four months long, running from early November until early March, 'standard' time seems like a real misnomer, doesn't it? And since that period coincides with the four coldest months of the Vermont calendar (usually) and the darkest time of the year, the start of daylight saving is also the start of The Bleak Dark Time, when both Carole and I are inclined to just pull our heads in, cover our eyes with a blanky, and say nothing at all to anyone until it's all over.

And that's precisely what we've got to avoid. This year I've decided to do something different. I'm going to try to exercise every day -- making use of the 'fitness center' in the mazy depths of the ground floor of my office building here in Vermont when I'm actually working out of the office, going to the gym that Carole and I belong to (and rarely actually use) on the weekends, and trying to get my butt down to the hotel exercise room when I'm on the road.

My stress level has been high enough lately that my manager did what amounts to a formal counseling session with me one day on the phone, advised me to get my stress under control, and even signed me up for an online stress management class on our company's internal online learning website. I guess she's serious. And I know that my blood pressure was a lot lower when I was working out on the treadmill every day a year ago trying to get my weight down to 180 pounds. And I've let my weight creep back up to the 190s (especially in the last month, when I've been fighting a cold)...

So: my thought is that if I start regularly working out again, doing 900 or so calories' worth of fast walking on a treadmill each day, I'll probably be less stressed, get my blood pressure back down, AND get my weight back down to the 180-pound level that I sorta think it should be at. That's the goal, anyway. I've created a stickk.com commitment contract to help enforce said dedication -- if I don't make my weight loss goals, I'll be out $50 a week each week that I fall short. With that sort of impetus pushing me, I hope I'll rediscover the dedication that helped me with the first big weight loss push, the one that took me from 235 down to 180.

And most importantly of all, I won't let The Bleak Dark Time knock me for a loop again.

jayfurr: (Hiking inna dark)
Carole and I routinely dispute the question of when seasons officially start. I've tended toward the point of view that the seasons start at the moments of equinox and solstice, basically cleaving to the strict astronomical definition, while she tends more toward a definition of June-July-August being summer, September-October-November being fall, December-January-February being winter, and March-April-May being spring.

Neither of us is really all that "right" when you get down to it. It all depends on where you live, latitude-wise. Here in Vermont fall seems to last for about a month, from mid-September until mid-October, and then we get right to the gray depressing skies and leafless trees that make up a weird season that doesn't really feel like "winter" because there's no snow on the ground, but certainly isn't "fall" either because the leaves have long since come down. Winter starts when we get the first sizable snowfall and lasts until the end of March at the earliest -- and can carry on until May if we work it just right. Along about mid-April or early May we usually start another of Vermont's weird seasons, "mud season", where the ground is still frozen but there's enough rain falling that the top layer of soil basically liquefies. With frozen soil a few inches down, the water has nowhere to drain away to and simply turns the top six inches of every dirt road to impassable muck.

So, yeah, in Vermont it's more meaningful to think in terms of the actual climatological conditions outside:

Warm and sunny: Summer (a couple of weeks here and there in July and August)
Tons of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites driving around photographing trees: Fall
Gray and miserable, with no leaves on the trees but no snow on the ground yet to brighten things: Despair
Lots of snow and cold: Winter
Cars stuck in the mud: Mud season
Maple festivals everywhere: Early spring
Still an imminent possibility of a late-season blizzard: Spring

But there's another way of looking at it that I think is most relevant of all: light versus dark.

Now that daylight saving time runs almost eight months out of the year and 'standard' time is only a bit over four months long, running from early November until early March, 'standard' time seems like a real misnomer, doesn't it? And since that period coincides with the four coldest months of the Vermont calendar (usually) and the darkest time of the year, the start of daylight saving is also the start of The Bleak Dark Time, when both Carole and I are inclined to just pull our heads in, cover our eyes with a blanky, and say nothing at all to anyone until it's all over.

And that's precisely what we've got to avoid. This year I've decided to do something different. I'm going to try to exercise every day -- making use of the 'fitness center' in the mazy depths of the ground floor of my office building here in Vermont when I'm actually working out of the office, going to the gym that Carole and I belong to (and rarely actually use) on the weekends, and trying to get my butt down to the hotel exercise room when I'm on the road.

My stress level has been high enough lately that my manager did what amounts to a formal counseling session with me one day on the phone, advised me to get my stress under control, and even signed me up for an online stress management class on our company's internal online learning website. I guess she's serious. And I know that my blood pressure was a lot lower when I was working out on the treadmill every day a year ago trying to get my weight down to 180 pounds. And I've let my weight creep back up to the 190s (especially in the last month, when I've been fighting a cold)...

So: my thought is that if I start regularly working out again, doing 900 or so calories' worth of fast walking on a treadmill each day, I'll probably be less stressed, get my blood pressure back down, AND get my weight back down to the 180-pound level that I sorta think it should be at. That's the goal, anyway. I've created a stickk.com commitment contract to help enforce said dedication -- if I don't make my weight loss goals, I'll be out $50 a week each week that I fall short. With that sort of impetus pushing me, I hope I'll rediscover the dedication that helped me with the first big weight loss push, the one that took me from 235 down to 180.

And most importantly of all, I won't let The Bleak Dark Time knock me for a loop again.

jayfurr: (Bald Knob)
It's been a while since I did any actual posting to my blog. I doubt that anyone's been excessively worried about this, but hey.

Here's an attempt to catch up on the actually relevant, important stuff, as opposed to minor trivialities I'm going to have to let go by.

1) We had an interesting Florida vacation between the 23rd of October and the 1st of November. I had a bad cold when we departed and had probably already passed it on to Carole by that point, although the worst of her symptoms didn't show up for a couple of days. Severe sore throat was my major symptom -- I felt so incredibly bad in the middle of the night Monday night that I was on the verge of proposing that we load up and catch an early flight home to Vermont. It seemed to make no sense whatsoever to pay all that money for hotel rooms and food if all we were going to do was lie in bed feeling rotten. However, Carole persuaded me to switch from taking acetaminophen and switch to ibuprofen and ibuprofen seemed to do a much better job of reining in my sore throat.

Unfortunately, my symptoms didn't go away -- taking guaifenesin and dextromethorphan and ibuprofen in quantity simply let me function while not feeling great. Carole had most of the same symptoms I did, but along about midweek developed an eye and ear infection which, unlike the nasty viral cold we both had, was definitely bacterial in nature. One of her eyes got all puffy and worried-looking and her Eustachian tubes got so full of guck that she could barely hear. We got her a pair of antibiotic prescriptions from an urgent care facility and started her on the road to recovery.

We really did just about nothing fun the whole time we were "on vacation". We visited my parents and sister in Brooksville for a few hours one day, but never made it back up for a second visit. We canceled a planned snorkeling-with-manatees excursion, reasoning that even if we felt sorta okay we didn't need to be diving around in chilly water for a couple of hours when we were trying to get healthy enough to walk sixty miles.

We were not recovered, energy-wise, by the Tampa Bay 3-Day that took place over the weekend of October 29-30-31. My energy level was about 80%, and Carole's was about 50%. The weather was perfect, fortunately, so we had that going for us, neither too hot nor too cold nor too humid nor too dry, but that didn't zap us back to health. Carole walked in eyeglasses instead of contacts because of her slowly recovering infected eye, and she was half-deaf most of the time because of her ear infection. I started Day 1 with a mild sore throat but otherwise felt mostly okay. Curiously, the walking seemed to help with my symptoms -- perhaps being out in the sun and getting my blood pumping was what did it.

2) I enjoyed the 3-Day. Carole did not. Carole had sore feet and a lot of blisters and attributes this to her failure to keep training in September and October when I was spending a lot of time out on the road. While I kept on walking between the Twin Cities 3-Day in August and the DC 3-Day in early October, Carole mostly stopped her training walks when I wasn't around to kick her butt and get her moving, and she paid for that massively. She took sweep vans six or seven times, often sweeping a mile or so to the next pit stop to wait for me and rest and recover... only it didn't always work out that way. Once she took the sag bus from Pit 2 to lunch only to have me arrive, on foot, first -- because the sag bus didn't leave Pit 2 until Pit 2 closed. It'd have left earlier if the bus had filled up, but since it never filled up, it stayed right there until the pit closed. That long wait on an air-conditioned bus didn't do her any favors. Other times she caught sweep vans but found out that they were going the other way and wound up back at the pit we'd just been at, only reaching the pit she'd wanted to sweep forward to after a bit of a wait. Just weird, bad luck as far as her choice of sweep vans. Even when we thought she was getting on one that was going in the right direction (i.e., forward) it didn't always work out.

Right now I can't honestly say that Carole's likely to walk another 3-Day since she had such a rotten time in Tampa Bay. She did fine in Dallas last year as a solo walker, walking as a make-up for the weather-shortened Philadelphia 3-Day, so I know she's capable of doing well, but she's proof positive that you have to keep training.

I am proud to say that I walked 180 miles in three 3-Day walks this year and never took a sweep van and never had a blister, even though I walked two of those three events fighting colds and feeling definitely less than 100%. It all comes down to will, determination, and having trained enough that your feet and knees and hips are able to come through for you.

I will write more about the Tampa Bay 3-Day at some point in the coming week -- but that's enough summary for now.

3) At the beginning of 2010, I had dieted down to 180 pounds. Right now, I weigh 195. 195 is the threshold where a 6'2" man becomes "overweight" using the BMI system. While 195 is definitely better than the 225 I weighed at the start of 2009 or the 235 I weighed at the start of 2008, I want to get back down to 180. At 180 pounds my health was better, my ability to manage stress was better, my heart rate and cholesterol level and blood pressure were nothing short of incredible (or so my doctor told me)... and lately, I've been unhealthy (with a cold that's been coming and going for over a month) and my blood pressure has been higher than I'd like. I haven't exactly spent the last 11 months gorging -- but having reached my target weight I stopped aggressively counting calories... and I figured that with all the training walking I've been doing I'd stay where I wanted to be. Even when I worked my way up to the high 180s I figured I was okay since, after all, I was still not technically overweight. Since the beginning of October, though, I've been doing a lot less training (not counting the actual 3-Days) and my weight has crept up from 188 to 195.

It's time for that to go back down. I've created a new stickk.com commitment contract to help myself stay disciplined and have set a goal of being back at 180 by 8 weeks from today. If you'd like to track my progress and be a supporter, I'd be glad to have you. Click http://www.stickk.com/members/commitment.php/cid/95467 to view the commitment contract and sign up as a supporter (if you want).
jayfurr: (Bald Knob)
It's been a while since I did any actual posting to my blog. I doubt that anyone's been excessively worried about this, but hey.

Here's an attempt to catch up on the actually relevant, important stuff, as opposed to minor trivialities I'm going to have to let go by.

1) We had an interesting Florida vacation between the 23rd of October and the 1st of November. I had a bad cold when we departed and had probably already passed it on to Carole by that point, although the worst of her symptoms didn't show up for a couple of days. Severe sore throat was my major symptom -- I felt so incredibly bad in the middle of the night Monday night that I was on the verge of proposing that we load up and catch an early flight home to Vermont. It seemed to make no sense whatsoever to pay all that money for hotel rooms and food if all we were going to do was lie in bed feeling rotten. However, Carole persuaded me to switch from taking acetaminophen and switch to ibuprofen and ibuprofen seemed to do a much better job of reining in my sore throat.

Unfortunately, my symptoms didn't go away -- taking guaifenesin and dextromethorphan and ibuprofen in quantity simply let me function while not feeling great. Carole had most of the same symptoms I did, but along about midweek developed an eye and ear infection which, unlike the nasty viral cold we both had, was definitely bacterial in nature. One of her eyes got all puffy and worried-looking and her Eustachian tubes got so full of guck that she could barely hear. We got her a pair of antibiotic prescriptions from an urgent care facility and started her on the road to recovery.

We really did just about nothing fun the whole time we were "on vacation". We visited my parents and sister in Brooksville for a few hours one day, but never made it back up for a second visit. We canceled a planned snorkeling-with-manatees excursion, reasoning that even if we felt sorta okay we didn't need to be diving around in chilly water for a couple of hours when we were trying to get healthy enough to walk sixty miles.

We were not recovered, energy-wise, by the Tampa Bay 3-Day that took place over the weekend of October 29-30-31. My energy level was about 80%, and Carole's was about 50%. The weather was perfect, fortunately, so we had that going for us, neither too hot nor too cold nor too humid nor too dry, but that didn't zap us back to health. Carole walked in eyeglasses instead of contacts because of her slowly recovering infected eye, and she was half-deaf most of the time because of her ear infection. I started Day 1 with a mild sore throat but otherwise felt mostly okay. Curiously, the walking seemed to help with my symptoms -- perhaps being out in the sun and getting my blood pumping was what did it.

2) I enjoyed the 3-Day. Carole did not. Carole had sore feet and a lot of blisters and attributes this to her failure to keep training in September and October when I was spending a lot of time out on the road. While I kept on walking between the Twin Cities 3-Day in August and the DC 3-Day in early October, Carole mostly stopped her training walks when I wasn't around to kick her butt and get her moving, and she paid for that massively. She took sweep vans six or seven times, often sweeping a mile or so to the next pit stop to wait for me and rest and recover... only it didn't always work out that way. Once she took the sag bus from Pit 2 to lunch only to have me arrive, on foot, first -- because the sag bus didn't leave Pit 2 until Pit 2 closed. It'd have left earlier if the bus had filled up, but since it never filled up, it stayed right there until the pit closed. That long wait on an air-conditioned bus didn't do her any favors. Other times she caught sweep vans but found out that they were going the other way and wound up back at the pit we'd just been at, only reaching the pit she'd wanted to sweep forward to after a bit of a wait. Just weird, bad luck as far as her choice of sweep vans. Even when we thought she was getting on one that was going in the right direction (i.e., forward) it didn't always work out.

Right now I can't honestly say that Carole's likely to walk another 3-Day since she had such a rotten time in Tampa Bay. She did fine in Dallas last year as a solo walker, walking as a make-up for the weather-shortened Philadelphia 3-Day, so I know she's capable of doing well, but she's proof positive that you have to keep training.

I am proud to say that I walked 180 miles in three 3-Day walks this year and never took a sweep van and never had a blister, even though I walked two of those three events fighting colds and feeling definitely less than 100%. It all comes down to will, determination, and having trained enough that your feet and knees and hips are able to come through for you.

I will write more about the Tampa Bay 3-Day at some point in the coming week -- but that's enough summary for now.

3) At the beginning of 2010, I had dieted down to 180 pounds. Right now, I weigh 195. 195 is the threshold where a 6'2" man becomes "overweight" using the BMI system. While 195 is definitely better than the 225 I weighed at the start of 2009 or the 235 I weighed at the start of 2008, I want to get back down to 180. At 180 pounds my health was better, my ability to manage stress was better, my heart rate and cholesterol level and blood pressure were nothing short of incredible (or so my doctor told me)... and lately, I've been unhealthy (with a cold that's been coming and going for over a month) and my blood pressure has been higher than I'd like. I haven't exactly spent the last 11 months gorging -- but having reached my target weight I stopped aggressively counting calories... and I figured that with all the training walking I've been doing I'd stay where I wanted to be. Even when I worked my way up to the high 180s I figured I was okay since, after all, I was still not technically overweight. Since the beginning of October, though, I've been doing a lot less training (not counting the actual 3-Days) and my weight has crept up from 188 to 195.

It's time for that to go back down. I've created a new stickk.com commitment contract to help myself stay disciplined and have set a goal of being back at 180 by 8 weeks from today. If you'd like to track my progress and be a supporter, I'd be glad to have you. Click http://www.stickk.com/members/commitment.php/cid/95467 to view the commitment contract and sign up as a supporter (if you want).

Weight

Apr. 1st, 2010 04:11 pm
jayfurr: (Artificial Ocean Life)
I got down to an all-time (well, since college) low of 177 pounds by mid-January 2010... this after being as high as 240 in February of 2006 and as high as 224 as recently as the beginning of August 2009.

Now, however, I am back up to 187... the result, in all likelihood, of a VERY long period of feeling awful, fighting off a cold/flu/whatsit followed by a stomach virus. Very little gettin-your-funk-on exercise took place during that period and I tended to just eat to whatever extent my poor feelin'-rotten body told me to. Mostly I did light-intensity flexibility exercises and stuff, the only stuff I felt up to doing, and that didn't really burn a lot of calories. Now that the good weather is here (it's supposed to be in the 70s and sunny here in Vermont this weekend), I intend to get back down to 180, my target weight all along, ASAP.

In order to do this, I'm going to go full-tilt-boogie, just like I did during my wildly successful loss of 44 pounds between August and the end of December. I'll be counting and tracking every calorie I consume on the Daily Plate website (if you're bored, visit http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/diary/who/jayfurr/ -- it's not been updated a lot since the formal end of the diet, but I'm resuming doing so as of today) and trying to get an insane amount of fat-burning exercise in. Of course, if I wind up building a lot of muscle, the weight loss will slow, but I can live with that.

My goal is to be back to 180 by the end of April. That's very doable; it just requires discipline. I've created another stickk.com contract to help with that aspect of it, and I'll be posting a digital photo of me on the scales each week during the weigh-in, so anyone who gives a dang will know I'm really doing it. You can follow the contract here: http://www.stickk.com/members/commitment.php/cid/67925

Wish me luck.

Weight

Apr. 1st, 2010 04:09 pm
jayfurr: (Artificial Ocean Life)
I got down to an all-time (well, since college) low of 177 pounds by mid-January 2010... this after being as high as 240 in February of 2006 and as high as 224 as recently as the beginning of August 2009.

Now, however, I am back up to 187... the result, in all likelihood, of a VERY long period of feeling awful, fighting off a cold/flu/whatsit followed by a stomach virus. Very little gettin-your-funk-on exercise took place during that period and I tended to just eat to whatever extent my poor feelin'-rotten body told me to. Mostly I did light-intensity flexibility exercises and stuff, the only stuff I felt up to doing, and that didn't really burn a lot of calories. Now that the good weather is here (it's supposed to be in the 70s and sunny here in Vermont this weekend), I intend to get back down to 180, my target weight all along, ASAP.

In order to do this, I'm going to go full-tilt-boogie, just like I did during my wildly successful loss of 44 pounds between August and the end of December. I'll be counting and tracking every calorie I consume on the Daily Plate website (if you're bored, visit http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/diary/who/jayfurr/ -- it's not been updated a lot since the formal end of the diet, but I'm resuming doing so as of today) and trying to get an insane amount of fat-burning exercise in. Of course, if I wind up building a lot of muscle, the weight loss will slow, but I can live with that.

My goal is to be back to 180 by the end of April. That's very doable; it just requires discipline. I've created another stickk.com contract to help with that aspect of it, and I'll be posting a digital photo of me on the scales each week during the weigh-in, so anyone who gives a dang will know I'm really doing it. You can follow the contract here: http://www.stickk.com/members/commitment.php/cid/67925

Wish me luck.

Lent

Feb. 17th, 2010 09:12 am
jayfurr: (Baptism)
I've made up my mind -- not that anyone was waiting for the news.

I'm giving up cheese and nuts for Lent. I can eat virtually unlimited amounts of both, if they're placed in front of me. Past experience shows that I have virtually no self control if you put a bag of cashews and almonds within my reach. Even if I'm on a diet. At times, I can be the same way where cheese is concerned. What's one more slice?

Well, time to learn some self control. No cheese and no nuts for me throughout Lent. Yes, I know nuts theoretically have "healthy fat" -- my Livestrong.com newsletter yesterday led off with an article about that very point. But "healthy fat" from nuts isn't much consolation when you wake up in the morning and soberly realize that you just ate 3500 calories' worth of nuts in a nocturnal binge.

Peace, y'all.


Lent

Feb. 17th, 2010 09:12 am
jayfurr: (Baptism)
I've made up my mind -- not that anyone was waiting for the news.

I'm giving up cheese and nuts for Lent. I can eat virtually unlimited amounts of both, if they're placed in front of me. Past experience shows that I have virtually no self control if you put a bag of cashews and almonds within my reach. Even if I'm on a diet. At times, I can be the same way where cheese is concerned. What's one more slice?

Well, time to learn some self control. No cheese and no nuts for me throughout Lent. Yes, I know nuts theoretically have "healthy fat" -- my Livestrong.com newsletter yesterday led off with an article about that very point. But "healthy fat" from nuts isn't much consolation when you wake up in the morning and soberly realize that you just ate 3500 calories' worth of nuts in a nocturnal binge.

Peace, y'all.


jayfurr: (Jay with Balloons)
Apropos of nothing: my cholesterol, heart rate, and blood pressure KICK ASS.

I've been on Niaspan for six months now and it was time to go in and have my liver checked (*poke* *poke* "yep, still there") and cholesterol re-taken and my HDL has responded nicely.

Six months ago I had the whole "we can't believe you're the same guy we've been seeing for years" experience when the doctor saw I'd lost close to 50 pounds and that my cholesterol had dropped like a rock after giving up eating meat... but my HDL was still not anything to brag about. Heredity, basically.

So today:

Blood pressure: 112 over 73 (used to routinely be in the 138 over 95 range)

Heart rate (resting): 55 (always been pretty low)

Total cholesterol (TC): 120 mg/dL

HDL: 36 mg/dL (up from 23 pre-Niaspan, up from 12 pre-weight-loss and pre-vegetarianism)

Triglycerides: 145 mg/dL (used to be off the charts)

LDL: 95 mg/dL (used to be MUCH MUCH higher)

TC/HDL: 4.4

I've got my old numbers pinned to a bulletin board at home. I should look 'em up later and plot out a graph or something.

Also, I talked to my practitioner about getting a referral for a sleep study to see what's up with the whole drowsing-off-on-the-highway thing I've posted about. She said it absolutely made sense and that one of their staff call and set one up.

I talk all the time about the Susan G. Komen people saving lives every day through their breast cancer research, treatment, and prevention efforts -- but honest to God, I feel like they've saved my life by giving me something larger than myself to live for and by getting me off my butt and onto a program of taking care of my health and fitness. Every penny I've donated (and I've donated a lot) to Susan G. Komen For The Cure is money well spent even if you regard it as essentially paying for a rather roundabout fitness and weight loss plan. And as you know perfectly well, it's much, MUCH more than that. (Give today! Save a life!)

I can't wait for the warm weather to come. If the weather permits (and last year it sure as heck didn't -- it rained all spring and summer long) I'm gonna spend a LOT of time on my bicycle. That's this year's big fitness goal.

jayfurr: (Jay with Balloons)
Apropos of nothing: my cholesterol, heart rate, and blood pressure KICK ASS.

I've been on Niaspan for six months now and it was time to go in and have my liver checked (*poke* *poke* "yep, still there") and cholesterol re-taken and my HDL has responded nicely.

Six months ago I had the whole "we can't believe you're the same guy we've been seeing for years" experience when the doctor saw I'd lost close to 50 pounds and that my cholesterol had dropped like a rock after giving up eating meat... but my HDL was still not anything to brag about. Heredity, basically.

So today:

Blood pressure: 112 over 73 (used to routinely be in the 138 over 95 range)

Heart rate (resting): 55 (always been pretty low)

Total cholesterol (TC): 120 mg/dL

HDL: 36 mg/dL (up from 23 pre-Niaspan, up from 12 pre-weight-loss and pre-vegetarianism)

Triglycerides: 145 mg/dL (used to be off the charts)

LDL: 95 mg/dL (used to be MUCH MUCH higher)

TC/HDL: 4.4

I've got my old numbers pinned to a bulletin board at home. I should look 'em up later and plot out a graph or something.

Also, I talked to my practitioner about getting a referral for a sleep study to see what's up with the whole drowsing-off-on-the-highway thing I've posted about. She said it absolutely made sense and that one of their staff call and set one up.

I talk all the time about the Susan G. Komen people saving lives every day through their breast cancer research, treatment, and prevention efforts -- but honest to God, I feel like they've saved my life by giving me something larger than myself to live for and by getting me off my butt and onto a program of taking care of my health and fitness. Every penny I've donated (and I've donated a lot) to Susan G. Komen For The Cure is money well spent even if you regard it as essentially paying for a rather roundabout fitness and weight loss plan. And as you know perfectly well, it's much, MUCH more than that. (Give today! Save a life!)

I can't wait for the warm weather to come. If the weather permits (and last year it sure as heck didn't -- it rained all spring and summer long) I'm gonna spend a LOT of time on my bicycle. That's this year's big fitness goal.

jayfurr: (Maple Donut)
I just barely made my 180-pound weight goal on January 3, the day I headed out of town for a multi-week training and support engagement in Massachusetts. I haven't weighed myself since then, and while I've tried to eat sensibly, the fact is that since I'm not currently actively trying to drop any further I was worried that my weight might actually have crept back up.

So on Monday I found myself in an unoccupied diagnostic area on a patient floor of the hospital I'm working in this week and said "Hey, what the heck" and quickly stepped onto the precision scale used for taking patients' vitals.

188.1.

I just about had heart failure. I said "There is NO WAY all my clothing weighs any 8 pounds, not even if you include shoes and stuff."

Well, apparently shoes are surprisingly heavy. After glooming all week over my unexpected weight gain, I decided to try again. I took off my black wingtip shoes, loaded all my pocket stuff (keys, wallet, etc) into the pockets of the red fleece vest I've been wearing to identify me as a member of the go-live team, took the vest off, and stepped onto a similar scale in a similar hospital back room area.

Still fully dressed in pants, shirt, underwear, and socks, I weighed 181.1. And I know my clothing's got to weigh at least 1.1 pounds.

So I hereby declare that I'm fine and not a backslider after all. Yay me.

jayfurr: (Maple Donut)
I just barely made my 180-pound weight goal on January 3, the day I headed out of town for a multi-week training and support engagement in Massachusetts. I haven't weighed myself since then, and while I've tried to eat sensibly, the fact is that since I'm not currently actively trying to drop any further I was worried that my weight might actually have crept back up.

So on Monday I found myself in an unoccupied diagnostic area on a patient floor of the hospital I'm working in this week and said "Hey, what the heck" and quickly stepped onto the precision scale used for taking patients' vitals.

188.1.

I just about had heart failure. I said "There is NO WAY all my clothing weighs any 8 pounds, not even if you include shoes and stuff."

Well, apparently shoes are surprisingly heavy. After glooming all week over my unexpected weight gain, I decided to try again. I took off my black wingtip shoes, loaded all my pocket stuff (keys, wallet, etc) into the pockets of the red fleece vest I've been wearing to identify me as a member of the go-live team, took the vest off, and stepped onto a similar scale in a similar hospital back room area.

Still fully dressed in pants, shirt, underwear, and socks, I weighed 181.1. And I know my clothing's got to weigh at least 1.1 pounds.

So I hereby declare that I'm fine and not a backslider after all. Yay me.

jayfurr: (Underwater Mightiness)
I think I'm going to make my goal of weighing 180 (my 'ideal weight') by my goal date of the first Sunday in 2010. I got home to Vermont last night after having been in Boston since Thanksgiving (no Christmas jubilation awaited me, because my wife is visiting her parents in Ohio for Christmas) and this morning, my weigh-in was 180.8. If I stay good and don't go over my daily calorie budget between now and January 3, I should be able to do this. Still hard to believe that back in May of 2008 I weighed around 235 and that as recently as July of 2009 I weighed 224.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

jayfurr: (Underwater Mightiness)
I think I'm going to make my goal of weighing 180 (my 'ideal weight') by my goal date of the first Sunday in 2010. I got home to Vermont last night after having been in Boston since Thanksgiving (no Christmas jubilation awaited me, because my wife is visiting her parents in Ohio for Christmas) and this morning, my weigh-in was 180.8. If I stay good and don't go over my daily calorie budget between now and January 3, I should be able to do this. Still hard to believe that back in May of 2008 I weighed around 235 and that as recently as July of 2009 I weighed 224.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Ubbenl

Dec. 15th, 2009 09:16 pm
jayfurr: (Lounging on the Vision)
A few days ago I had some harsh things to say about hotel fitness rooms.

Well, the folks at the Homewood Suites I'm staying in fixed whatever was wrong with the nice little flat-screen TVs built into the treadmills and suddenly I find that I'm much more motivated to go in there and haul ass for an hour. I start off gradually and work my way up to 5 MPH at a 4 degree incline and next thing you know an hour is up and I've burned 650 calories. That seems to be helping: tonight when I got back to my hotel room after work and did my nightly pre-dinner weigh-in I was at 182.5 pounds. Lowest I've been since, I think, the midpoint of my first year of college, back around December of 1985. Yay me, and yay Sandy Bryant, for inadvertently having started the ball rolling back in May of last year when she suggested I sign up to walk the Washington DC Breast Cancer 3-Day with her.

I've got until January 3 to be at 180 pounds (per my current stickk.com weight loss contract) and I think that at this rate I'm gonna make it.

I still can't believe that back in May of 2008 I weighed 235 pounds (and sometimes a bit more) and now I weigh 182.5.

Sigh. It all seems so straightforward now -- but prior to having an effective way to count my calories without hauling around a little paperback book listing calories, it really was much harder to stay on target. Thank you, http://www.thedailyplate.com/ and http://www.stickk.com. And thank you again, Sandy.


Ubbenl

Dec. 15th, 2009 09:16 pm
jayfurr: (Lounging on the Vision)
A few days ago I had some harsh things to say about hotel fitness rooms.

Well, the folks at the Homewood Suites I'm staying in fixed whatever was wrong with the nice little flat-screen TVs built into the treadmills and suddenly I find that I'm much more motivated to go in there and haul ass for an hour. I start off gradually and work my way up to 5 MPH at a 4 degree incline and next thing you know an hour is up and I've burned 650 calories. That seems to be helping: tonight when I got back to my hotel room after work and did my nightly pre-dinner weigh-in I was at 182.5 pounds. Lowest I've been since, I think, the midpoint of my first year of college, back around December of 1985. Yay me, and yay Sandy Bryant, for inadvertently having started the ball rolling back in May of last year when she suggested I sign up to walk the Washington DC Breast Cancer 3-Day with her.

I've got until January 3 to be at 180 pounds (per my current stickk.com weight loss contract) and I think that at this rate I'm gonna make it.

I still can't believe that back in May of 2008 I weighed 235 pounds (and sometimes a bit more) and now I weigh 182.5.

Sigh. It all seems so straightforward now -- but prior to having an effective way to count my calories without hauling around a little paperback book listing calories, it really was much harder to stay on target. Thank you, http://www.thedailyplate.com/ and http://www.stickk.com. And thank you again, Sandy.


jayfurr: (Default)
So tonight I was shopping for groceries for the next few days. I think the cashier wasn't accustomed to seeing one guy buy:

5 jars and refrigerated containers of chunky salsa
3 boxes of various forms of high fiber cereal
3 bags of vegetarian meat substitute/ground beef alternative
3 boxes of snack packs of dried raisins and cranberries
Multiple cans of low-sodium beans

Aaaaaaaaaaand a gallon of skim milk.

I could see her sort of looking back and forth over the groceries, big question mark floating in air over her head, as I was swiping my credit card. Thought about saying "WE PARTY TONIGHT!!!" but I decided that, for once, I'd just hush my mouth and not melt some poor stranger's brain.

jayfurr: (Default)
So tonight I was shopping for groceries for the next few days. I think the cashier wasn't accustomed to seeing one guy buy:

5 jars and refrigerated containers of chunky salsa
3 boxes of various forms of high fiber cereal
3 bags of vegetarian meat substitute/ground beef alternative
3 boxes of snack packs of dried raisins and cranberries
Multiple cans of low-sodium beans

Aaaaaaaaaaand a gallon of skim milk.

I could see her sort of looking back and forth over the groceries, big question mark floating in air over her head, as I was swiping my credit card. Thought about saying "WE PARTY TONIGHT!!!" but I decided that, for once, I'd just hush my mouth and not melt some poor stranger's brain.

Zorg

Nov. 24th, 2009 12:48 pm
jayfurr: (Profile 1)
I'm down to 185 pounds or so. I'm aiming for 180 by New Year's because that puts me close to my 'ideal weight' (I'm a 6'2 male with the normal number of arms and legs) and then I can go on a weight-maintenance diet instead of a weight-loss diet. I have every intention of being one of those success stories where the weight stays off instead of quickly coming back.

I'm also waiting to get to that goal before beginning the wholesale purchasing of new clothing. Right now my jeans are really loose and baggy. I've already ordered a new belt and two new pairs of jeans and a new suit (which you may have seen on Facebook -- I modeled it for Carole last night and she had me pose for photos), but I suspect that in the end I may need to buy a LOT of new pants. It looks weird when you're wearing your pants all bunched up under the belt to keep them from falling down. Not that I'm complaining.

The funny thing about all this weight loss is that I did it absolutely the wrong way. Everyone always says that if you fast, you won't lose weight because your body goes into starvation mode.

Well, it worked for me.

Between all the long road walks I did to prep for the Breast Cancer 3-Day and cutting my caloric consumption back by around 1,500 calories a day, from the theoretical 2,900 I need to maintain weight to a bare-bones 1,400, the pounds melted off, often two and a half to three pounds a week. I'd get up in the morning in whatever hotel room I was in that week, have two cups of coffee, continue to drink coffee all day at the customer site, and then come back and eat 1,400 calories worth of vegetarian meat substitutes (like Gardenburgers or Boca Burgers or seitan or TVP or tofu), beans, salad, and stuff like that, and go to bed faintly hungry but able to get by. It worked. "Shouldn't have", but it did. I lost 40 pounds between the beginning of August, when I really started the strict diet, and right now.

Tonight I think I'll go home and, just for the extreme humor value, I'll eat an entire Costco bag of broccoli florets (the jumbo bag) tossed with fat-free Bolthouse Farms honey mustard yogurt dressing. Woo! I live such an exciting life.



Zorg

Nov. 24th, 2009 12:48 pm
jayfurr: (Profile 1)
I'm down to 185 pounds or so. I'm aiming for 180 by New Year's because that puts me close to my 'ideal weight' (I'm a 6'2 male with the normal number of arms and legs) and then I can go on a weight-maintenance diet instead of a weight-loss diet. I have every intention of being one of those success stories where the weight stays off instead of quickly coming back.

I'm also waiting to get to that goal before beginning the wholesale purchasing of new clothing. Right now my jeans are really loose and baggy. I've already ordered a new belt and two new pairs of jeans and a new suit (which you may have seen on Facebook -- I modeled it for Carole last night and she had me pose for photos), but I suspect that in the end I may need to buy a LOT of new pants. It looks weird when you're wearing your pants all bunched up under the belt to keep them from falling down. Not that I'm complaining.

The funny thing about all this weight loss is that I did it absolutely the wrong way. Everyone always says that if you fast, you won't lose weight because your body goes into starvation mode.

Well, it worked for me.

Between all the long road walks I did to prep for the Breast Cancer 3-Day and cutting my caloric consumption back by around 1,500 calories a day, from the theoretical 2,900 I need to maintain weight to a bare-bones 1,400, the pounds melted off, often two and a half to three pounds a week. I'd get up in the morning in whatever hotel room I was in that week, have two cups of coffee, continue to drink coffee all day at the customer site, and then come back and eat 1,400 calories worth of vegetarian meat substitutes (like Gardenburgers or Boca Burgers or seitan or TVP or tofu), beans, salad, and stuff like that, and go to bed faintly hungry but able to get by. It worked. "Shouldn't have", but it did. I lost 40 pounds between the beginning of August, when I really started the strict diet, and right now.

Tonight I think I'll go home and, just for the extreme humor value, I'll eat an entire Costco bag of broccoli florets (the jumbo bag) tossed with fat-free Bolthouse Farms honey mustard yogurt dressing. Woo! I live such an exciting life.



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