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Is My Scale Broken?


That was my first thought yesterday when I stepped on and it registered 215.  What?!?!!  215!!  That’s awesome! (I thought) But the next thought was, ‘Gee, is this thing broken?!’  How awful would that be?  Just as I think I am really getting somewhere in my weight loss journey, my scale methodically, slowly over time, breaks – 2-5 lbs at a time!

Ok, so it’s probably not broken.  I guess I am actually losing this weight.  It’s almost unbelievable because I have carried it around for years.  I have lost a lot of weight (about 40 lbs) twice in my life – once when I was about 30, and then again when I was about 37.  I lost it then gained it back, lost it again, gained it back.  But this time, it’s been 10 years, and I didn’t gain 40 lbs back – I gained about 55 lbs.  Egads.

So I was older, and had 30% more weight to lose.  The ‘older’ part made it hard enough – but to lose more weight than I had ever previously?  I guess that’s why it has taken me this long.  I’ve always wanted to procrastinate – but I just keep putting it off 🙂

So here I am – down to 215!  I have lost the 40 lbs.  A ‘familiar’ 40 lbs.  So what’s all this fat still doing here?  Oh yeah – the last 15.  Which may turn into the last 20 if I decide to go down to 195.  I may.  I’m about 6’2″ tall so 195 wouldn’t be bad.  If I got some more muscle on….

But remarkably, I actually can now see some things I haven’t noticed previously:  my stomach looks flatter.  Yes!  I wore a pair of jeans that was (last year) one of the tightest pairs I owned (even the stretch jeans I bought were snug).  I was able to pull them right down, while they were buttoned and zipped up.  (Could be embarassing!)  And those stretch jeans – I can’t wear them at all now – they fall right off.  And my biggest client told me the other day, ‘well you’re just wasting away to nothing!’ – and he usually doesn’t say much about personal things…

Why am I boring you with all this minutia?  Well if you’re still reading then there’s something that is keeping you interested.  If that something is hope, then please let me give this to you:  YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

This is the only reason for writing this series of blog posts.  For you, hopeful reader.  You CAN do it!  Mine certainly isn’t one of those amazing stories of someone losing over 100 lbs.  I did not overcome a major illness, I did not have surgery, and most importantly, I am not on any special diet. What is pertinent is that I am just a regular guy who was overweight by about 30% of my body weight (probably a bit more than usual), but nothing extreme.  I am middle aged (47) and I am a web developer (not a world class fitness instructor), etc…

I lost this weight one simple way.  I just ate less.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.  I have not lived solely on salads and fruit.  I eat ice cream!  I eat hamburgers, pizza, even fettucini alfredo (one of my favorites!)  But, I don’t eat a LOT of those things.  Or anything, really.  It’s pretty easy now.  Leaving food over at the end of a meal.  Or even better – simply taking less, and finding that when I’m done with that smaller portion – that it’s enough.  I do not need to go back for seconds.

There’s something else here that is key:  I wait for my hunger to abate.  I do not eat until I am full.  I have found that when I do that, usually I have overeaten.  The body metaboilizes food slowly.  Much slower than you eat it.  So say it takes you 20 minutes to eat.  You may not feel full for another 5-10 minutes.  If you stop eating a little sooner than you become full (eating a sensible-sized portion) then your hunger will abate, your body will feel satisfied, and you will not really need (or want) to eat anymore.  That is basically how I lost this weight.  It’s easy, and it is all in the mind.

If you take this approach dutifully (out of duty to yourself) for one month – you will never stop.  And you WILL see results.  Try it.  Do it for a month and then get back to me and tell me how it worked for you.  But don’t do it selectively. Don’t use excuses like, ‘well we’re eating out’ or ‘ it’s a special occasion, so it’s ok, this once’…

NO!  It’s NOT ok.  If you allow yourself those excuses, it will not work.  It’s your mind working against you.  Your mind needs to work for you.  Tell yourself you can do it.  Tell yourself that you will stop eating now, you will surely feel full in a few minutes.  Let your body catch up to your mouth.  Please.    And the very best of luck to you.

-Mark

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It means:

  • Carving new holes in old belts
  • Pants falling down
  • The ‘Baggy’ look
  • Comments from wonderful people I haven’t seen in a while (‘You’ve lost weight, haven’t you?!’)
  • Passing the halfway mark in a 55-lb weight loss journey
  • I’ve lost over 1.5 times my baby Joy’s weight
  • Regret at having tossed some old (smaller) clothes in frustration (though they were given to a family in need, so it’s really OK)
  • Figuring the cost of a new wardrobe
  • Being less hesitant before sitting on a fragile-looking bench or chair
  • Wondering ‘so what’s all this fat still doing here?’
  • Better gas mileage 🙂
  • One less chin
  • The thrill of only having 20 more to go!

Actually, this morning the scale told me just shy of 220, so it’s 219, but I’m calling it 220 for now.  Look out 215!  I’m coming at ya!
We just came back from a trip to the NC mountains at a friend’s cabin.  The leaves were great, the weather perfect, and the food, plentiful.  Thankfully, I left over a good portion at each meal, and managed to lose a little, as opposed to gaining any weight this trip.

I’ve found that one of the biggest, most profound hurdles for me, was to stay the course, especially on trips, special occasions, and holidays.  Now, I have Thanksgiving and Christmas staring me in the face.  While I won’t have made my goal to have it all lost by December 1st, I am well on my way.  20 to go, and these holidays can just come and give me their best shot!  I’m not backing down!  Coming from a family where getting together is ALL about the food (and lots of it), it’ll be a challenge, but one I am ready for.

If you are in a similar situation, or want to be, just remember that it’s all in your head.  There’s nothing really physical about it.  Once you have your mind made up, nothing can stop you!  An occasional mistake (like today I had a Triple Lindy at Moes Southwest – my favorite!) should not stop you, or even let you down.  Just get right back on the horse, and ride on into the sunset. 

And losing that weight will make your horse feel better, too.  Good luck!

Room 222


Remember that show?   Well, this post has nothing to do with that show!

But when I stepped on the scale this morning, behold, I saw the little needle pointing to that magic number – 222lbs!
33 lbs less than when I started this journey.  Needless to say I am ecstatic… but also let it be said that for the past several weeks, it’s been teetering between 228 and 225 or so. 

It averages out to about a pound a month since December 2007, so nothing miraculous here, but most of it has been lost this year.  And it’s really all just eating less.  Of the stuff I really like… Oh, I eat pizza – but instead of 2 or 3 slices, I eat one.  Yesterday I had only half my sandwich (we made paninis – yummy!) because I was full!

So I saved the other half for later.  I still have ice cream (my downfall) a couple of times a week – not a huge helping, but anywhere from 1/2 cup to a cup.  Not bad.  No toturous routine of Lean Cuisine or Nutrisystems meals, and while I do eat salad several times a week, it’s not my main staple.

Ok, this is getting boring – just wanted to check in with you and let you know… 220 is right around the corner.  And then my goal of 200 will (almost) be in view.

Down to 228!


OK, a long journey is marked by the experiences along the way, and that journey of losing 50 pounds, which I started back in late 2007, well, has been… eventful!

Spending more time off my diet than on it, about a month ago, I started tracking what I ate, and to exercise a bit more.   I am happy to say that from a top weight of 255 in December 2007, that today, 8/20/2010, I am down to 228 – a  loss of 27 pounds!

So, I am about halfway to my goal.  My goal his shifted ever so slightly to an ideal weight of 200.  Monk would be proud.

The best way to explain what I did to lose this weight (most of which has been in the last couple of months) is, I simply ate less.  Instead of eating for enjoyment, I eat until I am almost full, then let time have its way.  It always manages to make me feel more full after a few minutes.  This would be the same for you, I suspect.

I also have been eating lots (about 6 1200 mg capsules daily) of fish oil.  It has numerous benefits – just Google it, you’ll see.  And water.  Not as much as I should, but I try never to leave the house without a full water bottle.

More later – just wanted to post this and with great hopes of a great (and lighter) future.

Blessings.


I am in the process of building a new web site, and in the process, using some of the same data tables from another site I built.  (Who wants to reinvent the wheel!?)So, rather than going through the arduous task of creating each column in a new table, one by one, I feel there should be a ‘Copy’ function in SQL Server Management Studio (I’m using the 2008 version).  But, right-click on a table name and, ‘Copy’ is conspicuously missing! 

But what I did find, just today (I’ve been doing this sort of work for many years), is a ‘Script Table As’ entry in the context menu.  Hmmmm…. 

Then off that, there are various table-level commands (Create to, Drop to, Alter to….) and each one has a little right arrow.  So I want to create a new table based on the one I was right-clicking on.  So I hovered over ‘Create to’ and the first option is ‘New Query Editor Window’ – which I figured couldn’t hurt, so I clicked it.  (right-click on table name, then ‘Script Table As’>/’Create To’>/’New Query Editor Window’) 

It put the SQL creation script for that table including all its column specs into a new query window.  Wow!  Very cool.  All I had to change was the first line from: 

USE [CurrentDatabaseName] to USE [DestinationDatabaseName] 
 
Then click the Execute button.  Done!  New table created, an exact copy of the original, but without the data.  

Of course, you have the option of changing the SQL script to alter, omit or add column names, lengths, datatypes, etc., but only if you know what you’re doing!  

You can always use the ‘Design’ feature of SQL Server Management Studio for any subsequent changes to the table to fit the needs of the new application.  

 I guess you can learn something new every day!


In the aftermath of one of the worst tragedies in human history, the horrible 7.0 magnitude earthquake Tuesday, 1/12/2010 in Haiti, and now, Wednesday 1/20/2010, a 6.0 magnitude aftershock, a huge worldwide outpouring of hope and help is making its way toward this small Caribbean nation, whose residents are still reeling from the 2008 hurricane season.

Here’s a start of a list of organizations taking charitable donations for helping Haitian relief efforts:

You can  donate at BrodskyMinistries.com via credit card (not tax deductible)

The American Jewish World Service has set up the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund to respond to the crisis by supporting a network of organizations it works with.

AmeriCares has pledged $5 million to Haitian quake relief, and is soliciting donations to a general emergency disaster relief fund to help it accomplish that.

CARE is sending relief workers into the city of Port-au-Prince and needs funds to support its efforts. Suggested donations range from $50 to $1,000, but you can name your own amount if you prefer.

Catholic Relief Services has an office in Haiti, and luckily it’s still standing even though one of its neighbors collapsed. The organization is accepting donations of any amount.

Direct Relief International has committed up to $1 million in aid through two on-the-ground partners, and is sending containers of medical material aid.

Oxfam has 200 people on the ground to deal with the crisis, and began its efforts by trying to get clean water to victims of the quake. One of its staffers recorded a podcast describing the situation. You can donate on the American or UK site, depending on where you’re located.

Yele Haiti is sponsored by prominent Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean. You can donate through its website or via text message as described in the next segment.

Google Support Disaster Relief is a website Google has updated to respond to the crisis. Google has promised $1 million in support, but the site is also an easy place to donate money to either UNICEF or CARE. It also provides hospital addresses and links to sources for news on the situation.


 (List as taken from http://mashable.com/2010/01/13/haiti-earthquake-donate-help/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher)

Get “The Shack”


The Shack This is one awesome book!  The Shack is a novel written by William Young and delves into many spiritual questions we all have asked ourselves at one time or another.

It takes an awful tragedy and brings clarity and joy to one man’s heart, and to the people in his life because of how he has changed.  You might find yourself in the pages of The Shack, or someone you know or love.  Everyone should read this book.  It’s that good.

The ending was absolutely awesome, and with a twist you’ll surely delight in.  My wife and I both read it and decided to carry it on BrodskyMinistries.com.

We have it on sale for less than retail.  I would recommend the book for yourself, for a gift, for anyone.  Just know this – some folks mistake this book for a work inspired by the bible, which it is not.  It is inspired by the faith of a man who finds that God really does care about him.  And that’s an idea we all need.  Enjoy this book for what it is:  a novel, but one that may help you, your friends or family to understand a little better how God plays into your life.