Category Archives: Weight Loss

13 weeks later

That’s right. I’m still working out twice a week and progress is being made. In spite of my birthday, my wife’s birthday and Easter all working against me to satisfy my sweet tooth, (which I would call a controlled failure), I’m still here fighting the good fight.

Looking in the mirror I can see my face shrinking. I’m looking more like the person I think I am and not the fat guy I actually was. My shirts are no longer tight around my belly and instead are tight in the sleeves. My arms aren’t slabs of flab anymore and are hard as rocks. I can’t stop touching and squeezing them. OMG I have a man crush on my own arms.

My man boobs are disappearing and being replaced with actual muscles. My legs are solid and my flexibility and balance are coming back to me. Allowing me to practice my Tae Kwon Do kicks. I’m teaching my workout partner these kicks and we are having a blast kicking the crap out of his “Wave Master” bag.

Best of all, I’m now on the first belt hole. In 13 weeks I’ve gone from hole 5 to hole 1. Soon I’ll be able to fit into my size 36 pants that I’ve been keeping for 4 years in the hopes of fitting into them again. My mid section has shrunk from a full sized spare tire to a hatchback donut spare tire.  (Mmmmmm donuts!)

I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’ve made good progress so far. I need to rid my life of the liars that make me feel bad about myself, and the biggest liar in my life right now is that damn bathroom scale! It’s saying I’m still 230 pounds. I guess when the fat is gone and the scale is still saying 230 I’ll just have to accept it.

Lucky for me there aren’t any special events in the near future to temp me. My goal is to gain control of my late night hunger and hopefully the scale will start being nicer to me.

Oh look, they put another cake in the cube next to me.

Damn it!

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Balls!

Alright I’ll admit it. There is more to my new found drive to lose weight than simply wanting to be healthy and feel better about myself. I keep reading over and over about a possible link between obesity and male infertility. While I don’t buy for one second my weight is the root cause for my infertility…it may well be a secondary factor in making my condition much worse than it needs to be.

The whole purpose of the testicles residing in the scrotum is to regulate their temperature for optimum production.  I look at my situation below and my balls are basically incubating between too large thighs all day long.  A perfect condition for roasting nuts, and not at all an ideal situation for sperm production.

There is also that small varicocele my Urologist found. All these questions on what to do next. Do I go ahead with a surgery with another uncertain outcome? Shall I walk around with ice packs shoved down the front of my pants all day long? Should I invest in Snowballs, underwear designed to keep the family jewels cool? Or do I commit myself to losing the weight?

With the bank account begging for mercy, I weighed my options. Although surgery could see an improvement, and insurance would cover part of the costs, that’s another $1000 or more out of my pocket.  A debt I’d be happy to take on if there was a good chance of the surgery leading to an improved sperm count.  Even if the improvement was only enough raise my chances for the next IVF round to work, surgery would be worth it. Right now with too many unknowns, this is another shot in the dark just like those HCG injections that work for some men, but not for me. So I’m holding off on the surgery.

Forcibly cooling the area with ice packs or specially designed underwear sounds promising on the surface. But this is just another one of those crazy infertile ideas like when I tried using a depilatory cream on the sack under the same reasoning. That crazy idea lead to several days of agony. Ice packs in the pants will definitely be uncomfortable and would need to be worn continuously for 3 months before finding out if this treatment is even working. I’m not walking around with my junk on ice for another long shot.

That left me with weight loss. It’s something I need to do and the hope of increasing my fertility is certainly additional motivation to keep me focused. I already had the weight set just sitting in the spare room, so there is little in additional cost required. I’ve found a work out buddy who is at the same level of strength as myself. This option just seemed to fall into place.

For me, the biggest reason I’m going with weight loss is that if in the end my fertility doesn’t increase, I’ll still feel good about accomplishing something. I can put my energy into a task where the results will be good, or could be great. Right now I need this, because few paths on the infertility journey have a lesser outcome that is still a benefit. I need a vacation from the heartbreak or euphoria result set.  And if weight loss does result in some form of an increased sperm count, I’ll feel much better about going under the knife to improve my fertility further.

I’m 3 weeks into my weight loss plan. Although the flaky home scale says I either lost 2 more pounds or stayed the same this week depending on its mood, I’m down another belt notch and see a big difference all over my body that my plan is in fact working. I’m also feeling a lot better and seeing a noticeable increase in my energy level.

Finally a journey that only looks up. The only question that remains is, how high?

© copyright 2011-2013

Please cut my arms off!

Last week began the start of my new weightlifting routine. Having lifted weights in high school I’m not a novice, however I probably would have been better off if I were.

I remembered much of what I learned in my class years ago. Starting with weights that weren’t too heavy. Focusing on my form and breathing during the exercise routines. Surprised myself by finding that my abs are still in good shape. Worked my right and left obliques, crunches and crunch leg raise combos, all together about 120 reps total and still wasn’t pushing very hard to avoid injury. (A gift from my gymnastics and tae kwon do instructors, the evil bastards.) Anyway, if I can eliminate this spare tire I know there is a nice set of abs underneath just waiting to be shown off.

The next day I felt pretty good. A little sore as I expected, but nothing too uncomfortable and the slight soreness reminded me the muscles were busy repairing themselves. I could feel my body burning energy instead of storing it as fat.

When I woke up the 2nd morning, that’s when the DOMS hit. What are DOMS? It stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. OW! No, that’s not good enough…

OWWWWWWW!

I couldn’t hold my arms straight. Reaching for a coffee cup was near impossible. I had no choice but to walk around for two days holding my arms at an angle like a gorilla. It was painful driving to work, putting on my shoes…anything that required extending my arm was torture!

I searched for the heating pad only to find and remember Bandit had chewed the cord as a puppy. Finally I found an almost empty tube of IcyHot that brought some relief. Coupled with ibuprofen I was finally able to go to sleep that night.

I don’t recall going through this much pain when I started lifting weights in high school. Maybe the instructor had started us on a lower weight than I remembered to avoid this situation. Luckily I’m reading that once you’ve broken the muscle in again, the likelihood of dealing with DOMS after future workouts is far less.

Now I’m feeling pretty good. Surprisingly I’m excited about exercising and for once I don’t dread doing it. Having a workout partner is a big help.

So far I’ve lost 3.5 pounds between diet and exercise. I’m not expecting those results every week, but I am encouraged by it. More exciting is I’m down a belt loop and I’m no longer teetering on the brink of requiring a bigger belt.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I’ve got a long road ahead of me, but I’m confident I can get where I’d like to be.

Healthy.

© copyright 2011-2013

240 Oh No!

Back when I went to the urgent care clinic over the holidays, I received some bad news having nothing to do with why I was at the clinic. I stepped on the scale to be weighed, fully expecting to have gained back all the weight I had lost. I’d lost control of my eating habits and I just didn’t care anymore. I still ate whole grain, used lean beef, avoided potatoes, so I hadn’t completely lost control. By my willpower to say no like I could before was gone.

Sure I made goodies once in a while, but it wasn’t like I was baking a pan a brownies every other day. Maybe once a month I would make a homemade treat. The problem was portions and snacking. I was eating like an alcoholic drinks beer to forget.

Then there were the goodies other people would bring into work. Since the cube opposite me is empty, guess where they like to put all the cookies, cupcakes, brownies and donuts? All day I watch people enter the cube across from me and walk out with something delicious in their hands. With my willpower gone, knowing what was going to happen if I fell for the temptation, I’d try one. Just like an alcoholic, I couldn’t eat just one. It’s not like anyone would notice me sneaking another treat 5 minutes later; since the only person who could notice sits across the hall and just happens to be me.

While everyone else may have only had 1 or 2 treats, I would end up having 4 or 5 before I started kicking myself for eating one in the first place.

So I stood on the scale and heard the nurse announce “Weight 240”.

What? Crap! That is 5 pounds heavier than I’ve ever been. Son of a BITCH! That’s 100 pounds heavier than I was 15 years ago before starting a desk job.

I avoided making weight loss a New Years resolution. Not only would that be completely cliche, but just giving it that label seems like I’m expecting to fail. My goal for now is to get under 200. I hardly ever eat fast food. My diet is healthier than most of the people I know. (Except my father who is a health nut.) I already eat a lot of chicken breast and veggies. Other than cutting back on sweets, which I will be doing, there isn’t much more I can do besides counting calories. I like math, but trying to figure out how many points my homemade meal costs me just adds to my frustration. So to accomplish this goal I’m focusing on exercise, which I hate.

Whenever I exercise on my own, I just end up watching the clock waiting for it to be over. If I can establish a routine, I’m better at sticking with exercise…until the day comes along forcing me to break my routine. There always seems to be some need to travel out of town, or I come down sick which means I can’t exercise. Getting back on the horse for some reason is always hard after being forced off.

To help combat my laziness and make exercise more than something I dread doing. I’m teaming up with a friend to lift weights. Hopefully this buddy system will keep me committed to exercising. This way I’m talking to someone rather than just watching the clock. We can push each other to finish just one more rep. And since he has a pretty nice set up at his house, I’m not going to a gym feeling like everyone is looking at the big guy huffing it on the treadmill.

Also the wife and I are planning more morning walks with Bandit.

I’M DOING THIS.

I have to. I’m tired of being the big guy. I’m tired of having a closet full of perfectly good clothes that I can’t fit into, hoping I would lose the weight one day.

This weight is going bye-bye.

I promise to have a Bandit post soon. Time just hasn’t been on my side this week. 🙂

© copyright 2011-2013