Monthly Archives: January 2019

Working Out… and Getting Sick Again

Initial Post started on 1/20

I heard a story on NPR today about how next week is the week that most people give up on their “New Years Resolution workout” goals… the good news is that I haven’t even started…

I was actually considering this when I started making my goals. The gyms and workout places get SLAMMED in January. I’m pretty averse to lots of crowds. I’m a bit self-conscious about working out in crowds, also. I’m hoping to hit up TITLE Boxing soon to see what it’s about. If you have familiarity with this place, let me know what you think of it. I’m hoping hitting the heavy bag will help me lose weight and de-stress. Hopefully I can find time to go frequently.

No major updates today though. Haven’t lost any appreciable weight. I had a cheat meal this week. Our bar closed for the season so I ate off goal and had a drink. Nothing too crazy. Trying to keep myself from binging on tons of food or drink in a cheat meal. I think my goal is to not have more than one cheat meal a month. Ideally I’ll have none. That’s something that can quick become an excuse to use it more and more.

Updated Post completed on 1/28

So, I had started writing this last week and then on Monday night my bronchitis came back with a FULL head of steam. Suffice to say, I didn’t get to the gym to try it out… I ended up on a full treatment of Azithromycin and Prednisone and a few other things. I was sick in bed, shivering, coughing, dying for a few days there. Unfortunately, when this happens, my lungs tend to feel like they’ve been shredded for months afterwards… I’m hoping the steroids might speed this up a bit, but just something as simple as a short walk (especially in the cold) is almost too much for me. A bit disheartening. The upsell is that because I’ve been sick, I got down to 283lbs… So that’s pretty good.

I was warned that while on the steroids, I’ll be sweet-toothing it a bit… so I gotta be real careful about sugar intake right now. I might have overdone it with fruits the last few days. I did go out for ‘off-plan’ food on Saturday night… which is twice in a month. Not the best, but I had to eat and I couldn’t cook. Rice was the big cheat on that one.

As for my goals this week, let’s just say it was a wash. I tried my best to keep the house clean. I did go grocery shopping and do meal planning. Other than that, I’m just trying to recuperate. Today was my first day back in the office in like a week and a half. I think out of January, I’ve gone to work like 5 times… nothing like dropping $250 on a monthly train pass and using it 5 times to make you feel that value. I played a lot of video games… tried to keep myself quarantined from the rest of the family as much as possible.

Alright, that’s all. Crummy update, but I didn’t want to fall off with my journaling. Looking forward to a week of not being sick… Maybe even a whole month!


In Which I Discuss Self Control and Taco Bell.

So over the past 10 days (since the 3rd) have been an interesting display of self control that I really hope I can keep going. I’ve attended a kid’s birthday party where there were plenty of choices that wouldn’t have been healthy (Pizza, donuts, etc…) but I never felt even the need to pine over them. I went to my doctor because I have bronchitis and a sinus infection, but despite that I didn’t let the stress of the situation lead me to the Taco Bell next door. That’s a huge win… my discussion with myself went something a little like this: “Probably not a good idea to go eat Taco Bell…” “Yeah, you’re right.” So, that was an easy discussion… with myself

We’re almost there… just a few more years.

Speaking of Taco Bell… I watched Demolition Man recently and it occurred to me how much they nailed bits and pieces of the future. Hell, Taco Bell actually changed their logo based on the movie… We’ve got tablets, self driving electric cars, personal biometric security devices on our things, personal video teleconferencing… an ever increasingly angry Denis Leary who just wants a steak and a cigarette and not your opinions… But out of all of that, I learned that Taco Bell has an official apparel store. I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did. I don’t have any Taco Bell apparel and now I’d feel like a hypocrite. That’s probably enough about Taco Bell for today…

Taco Bell Logo from 1984-1993 (left) Taco Bell Logo from Demolition Man (1993, but 2032)
Source with 1994-2018 logo and the NEW 2019 logo

Other fun little self-control situations I conquered were getting black coffee without sugar and dairy when I went out. Not eating the bread that came with the few salads I ordered over the week was probably the closest I got to losing a discussion in favor of health with myself. Eventually I sabotaged the bread by dumping trash on it… and then tossing it in the trash. Once it was gone I felt like “Why was that one so hard?” Either way, I didn’t beat myself up over it and I let my trash bread go off into the ether.

Why is that though? Why can I start off so gung ho and let it lapse over time? How does my stress actively whittle away at that. Was there something specific that happened that day that had me almost make a bad decision? I don’t recall. I’ll have to watch for that.

I mentioned that I was sick… well am sick. I get bronchitis and sinus infections pretty much annually for 1-4 weeks. It sucks. It’s also taken a little of the wind out of my sails when it comes to exercise. I’ve walked a few days (one that ended with a pulled calf muscle… because of course it did). I’m really trying to not let this put me off my goals… so lets do a little goal check-in

I haven’t invited anyone over, but I have gone out socially a few times. The house is reasonably picked up and I could tidy it shortly for guests, so that second part of that goal is also in play.
I’ve done my cooking pretty solidly. We’ve had a few take out orders, but nothing crazy (mostly salads). I’ve actually rang out a few meals that were pretty decent and didn’t make me crazy trying to make them.
I’ve played games with friends when they’re available.
I haven’t started on my exercise routine, but I did send a feeler out to TITLE Boxing in Salem to see what the next steps are for some free classes.
It’s too cold and I’m too sick to be cycling, but I did buy a bike cover for my bike so I can keep it outside when I’m not riding it. That’s better than keeping it in the basement.
I’m journaling… obv.
I haven’t lost any weight so to speak. I’m hovering around 290, +/- 2lbs. I need to watch my snacking I think.

Overall, a pretty successful week and a half in terms of my mental health, now I just need to get better and get out to some places to see what exercise routines will work with my schedule and my energy and passion.


Disclosure – The following is not really an ad, but a product review. I purchased this with my own money and have not been in touch with the company in any way for any direct reimbursement. A link to purchase one is included and I will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card for anyone who uses the link to purchase it.

Get yourself a bidet… seriously. They’re cheap and easy to install in many instances and your butt will feel better because of it. I really can’t believe I’ve waited this long to get one. I ended up with this cheap-ish Tushy Spa unit. It allows for both hot and cold water via some hoses and T-fittings. Your toilet needs to be near or next to your sink to make it work (or you better be good running a long hard line…).

It installed pretty quickly, except my existing toilet seat had these enormous bolts that wouldn’t fit through the thing so I had to swap it with my downstairs seat. I drilled a hole in my shitty little sink console to run the included flexible plastic line from the hot side to the unit. Cold water taps off your toilet fill. They also sell a model that just uses the cold water and it’s quite a bit cheaper. Took about 30 minutes to install properly.

The effects are great. You’ll hate shitting when you don’t have access to a bidet now. Using it is a simple affair… let me break it down for you

  1. shit
  2. spray
  3. dab


No… not… not like that. (source)

Actually, let me reprhase this whole fucking thing… So, poop as normal (a Squatty Potty would go well with this). Then set your temperature (not too hot!) and slowly turn on the sprayer. You can also pre-warm the water by running your sink’s hot water until it warms up so you don’t get that first cold spray if you’re averse to having cold water on your butt. You can also run the self cleaning mode prior to spraying to get any of the cold water left in the tube out. You can set the angle using a little switch on the unit. I normally just adjust my seating to get proper coverage. Then, take 4 sheets of toilet paper or so and dab yourself dry. There shouldn’t be any real substance left. Flush and then turn on the ‘self cleaning’ mode for a few seconds to wash anything off that might have gotten on it. That’s it.

Overall, it’s great. This is a very simple model compared to some of the really fancy ones I’ve seen that are hundreds of dollars and sometimes require electricity. But those ones can do things like front wash, pulse modes, different spray patterns, etc… I’d love one of those some day, especially if it had a heated seat. So far the build quality seems pretty good. I had ZERO leaks on the hoses (make sure not to overtighten the compression fittings on the hot water hoses) so far. It doesn’t look too silly installed either. It’s just a few knobs sticking out the side of your toilet seat. It does raise the back of your seat a bit and the front is angled down, but I don’t notice it.

The only real downsides I’ve seen are few and not deal breakers.

  • The seat being raised in the back might not be great for some people.
  • If you set the pressure too high initially, you might do some damage (I might just have really high water pressure though, but take it easy… we’re not powerwashing graffiti off your ass, you sadist).
  • There’s no safeguards for having it too hot, so be sure to start cold and find your temperature. Once you find the right temperature, you don’t really have to do any more tinkering. Mine is just a few clicks off the middle.
  • If you aren’t sitting right, it can spray too far forward and you might have to dab off your front bits… worst case, you might even spray between the gap of the seat and the bowl and get your pants wet (that hasn’t happened to me yet, but I have had to dry the front of the bowl a bit after using it)
  • If you have children… I can’t give you any tips on how to childproof this… It’s basically a drinking fountain/perfect way to soak your entire bathroom. Maybe if you disciplined your children THIS WOULDN’T BE A PROBLEM, MARGOT! 😉

But I will tell you this, I feel great after using it. I feel CLEAN. I feel like I’m not using as much toilet paper. I’m not wiping myself raw. It’s awesome. I’ve personally had some minor medical issues over the past year in regards to my butt and this was one of the things suggested to fix it. So far, so good. A lot of the little issues I was having seem to have gone away since I got it. I’m much more comfortable now… I just wish I had one at the office.

As far as I can tell, everyone in the house loves it too. My 9 year old can use it, but I’m not sure how often he does. It’s certainly an interesting feeling, but the fact that you leave the bathroom feeling CLEAN is great.

If you feel like picking one up, click this link. You get $5 off and I get a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

I think that’s about all I have to say on this subject… Guess this is a 900+ word review of the thing… Sorry, it won’t happen again… until I find something else to shill because I like it (or because the referral bonus is enormous or something).


The 300 Club

Hey, it’s January 1st. You know what that means!? THAT’S RIGHT! NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!


So, this one hurts a bit. I’m not quite 300lbs, but I’m nearly there. Here’s some things I learned over the past few months:

  1. The Bacon Smokehouse Signature Burger from McDonald’s is fucking delicious… no joke. It’s actually really tasty.
  2. Cheez-Its make me sick now.
  3. I can’t eat as MUCH as I used to
  4. I’m VERY weak. I have had a lot of trouble doing what I would consider basic movement and exercise. I couldn’t even start a fight much less end one.
  5. I’m still a sugar addict.
  6. Stress is a mind killer. When I get stressed out, I don’t give myself the room to discuss making mistakes with myself before I make them, I just jump right in.
  7. Negative self-reinforcement doesn’t work in the long run. I can’t beat myself up mentally and expect to get and feel better.
  8. Alcohol is no longer a vice. I feel comfortable cutting myself off at 2 drinks and only drinking something that I know I will like. I hate feeling drunk now.
  9. I’m getting better at cooking.

I started a new sheet on my weight loss chart. I can’t consider my goals going forward correctly looking at my old chart. 37 is a lot different than 31. Losing weight now is going to be a lot harder. But, for data tracking sake, here’s what it’s looked like since I started the blog until today


A fast loss over the course of about a year followed by a slow, methodical crawl back up over 6 years. Let’s zoom in on the good chart:


As much as I’d like to reproduce this again this year, it is not my goal to shed tons of weight in a short time. It starts with setting goals for myself. So here are my goals. They’re not all weight related, but they are health related:

  • Invite someone over or go out socially once a week.
  • Plan, Prep and Cook 4-5 dinners a week
  • Play games 1-2 times a week with friends
  • Find a exercise routine by end of winter
  • Start riding bike 3-4 times a week for commute
  • Journaling at least once a week.
  • 250 by my birthday (July 24)

Let’s break those down into what they mean.

Invite someone over or go out socially once a week. So this one is simple, but has two things to it: inviting someone over means keeping my house clean. That means finding a cleaning regimen that keeps the downstairs picked up enough and tidy enough that I can have someone over and only need to spend 30 minutes tidying vs 6 hours cleaning.
The second part is that I feel better when I’m social with folks. My depression lifts away a lot better when I’m around people. That said, I need to make sure the social bit of this stays ahead of the cleaning thing. I can’t simply NOT be social BECAUSE the house isn’t picked up. I can’t use that as an excuse for staying home all the time. But, going out can lead to pitfalls. Drinking, eating off plan, etc… are a big concern, but I can’t let them be. I just need to go out and have fun with friends. I should be honest with my friends and let them know that I won’t be drinking heavily (if at all) and I won’t be eating like a savage anymore. I also invite my friends to question my choices. I’m definitely going to need some help here from the crowd to get back where I need to be. So, no peer pressure to drink and eat and feel free to make me THINK about my decisions.

Plan, Prep and Cook 4-5 dinners a week. Eating in means eating healthy for the most part. It also helps me save money. I’ve got all the tools (RealPlans, Grocery Delivery, etc…) I need to be able to do this… so do it.

Play games 1-2 times a week with friends. This obviously ties in with the above item. But sometimes I need some me-time and I like playing video games (or even starting a D&D group or something) to unwind. I need to stop being a hermit and play video games WITH my friends instead of alone. Again, depression battling being the major push for this goal.

Feel free to add me on whatever game service you have that I have:

  • Xbox Live GamerTag – Chapel976
  • Blizzard – Chapel976#1146
  • Steam – Chapel976
  • probably a bunch more, just hit me up and let me know what you’re playing, but most of my stuff is under Chapel976

Find a exercise routine by end of winter. So, this one is more of a ‘take advantage of the free trial days at as many places you find interesting and come to a decision before the end of winter’. I’m thinking of looking at a few boxing places nearby to see which one fits best with me. Ideally, I’d like to have this sorted out before end of February.

Start riding bike 3-4 times a week for commute. This is more of a post-winter goal. This one should be easy. Bike just needs a minor storage tune up. This will save me time and money. My big ass truck doesn’t get good mileage on short trips and parking isn’t free.

Journaling at least once a week. I need to keep up on this one for myself. I may do some of my journaling here and some privately. I need to keep my brain unloaded with the stresses of life and be honest with myself and sometimes with my peers and friends. If I’ve gone 12 days without making a post, hit me up on facebook and remind me. I need to really keep up on this one and have it help me focus on my goals.

250 by my birthday (July 24). 250lbs is 46lbs away. July 24 is almost 8 months away. In my other recent post I can do this because I have done this I said that this is doable because I’ve done it before. 76lbs in 6 months. So, why the lower goal? Why not push for 70 in 7? Because I’m older and this is going to be harder. If I get there earlier, great. But I need to start setting up the building blocks now and that’s why this is the last goal I have set right now.

And the last goal that I haven’t mentioned is basically KEEP IT UP. I need to be honest with my therapist, with my journaling, with my family and friends and I need to keep pushing myself. I need to keep setting achievable goals and working towards them. I need to get back into the mind set that I was in back in 2012. I need the fire and the passion to keep this up and keep it going for longer. I want to come out of this year stronger than ever. I want to be able to push myself without breaking myself and I’m going to need some help doing it. I need to identify when I’m making excuses for myself and overcome those excuses. I need to THINK about those excuses I’m going to make ahead of time and fight them without being mean to myself.

So, lets get started!

First up: grocery shopping for the meal plan I have for the week that I’ve already made!

Starting Weight – 296lbs