Friday, November 4, 2011

It’s time to face the beast within, but he’s somewhere under all this blubber


This isn’t a Halloween-themed blog, but in honor of the recent holiday I snapped this photo of myself (to show my niece Sophia my new monster t-shirt) and quite honestly was surprised how chubby I looked in the picture.  Okay, fat.

What makes it particularly disheartening is that last Friday was the final weigh-in at the office for myself & some of my coworkers—we started a ‘Weight Race’ 3-4 months ago, and my final weight was 4 pounds more than when we began!  My heart wasn’t in it.  In fact, I rebelled & spent this past summer picking up a tub of ‘banana split’ ice cream every time I went to the market, and got into the habit of snacking on stuff like Ore-Ida Gourmet Onion Rings (what makes them gourmet is that they’re made with real onions—hmph) along with other fun fare like “State Fair Corn Dogs” and Tyson’s Buffalo Chicken Wings—in the Family size bag.

And then there’s “real food”; after years of asking my mom or my sister Shawn to fix my favorite meal (pot roast) on my visits home, I finally perfected my own version of the recipe—an unfortunately all too simple meal to throw together (oh it’s really yummy when you bake it in a mixture of cream of mushroom & onion soup mix).  This is one I made last weekend; it would normally serve 3-4… normal people.  I had it eaten in 2 days.

So what’s the answer here?  I just turned 50 this past Monday & God help me, I don’t want to be this round on my next birthday.  But diets are useless (my metabolism knows all my tricks and adjusts accordingly) and the current way of thinking (don’t diet, change your eating habits for life) just makes me panicky & depressed and craving stuff like candy bars, which I normally don’t eat anyway. 

At the same time, I can no longer take solace in the fact that 2/3 of the population is seriously overweight or obese, and I’m just a face in that crowd.  I’ve been over 200 pounds for over a decade now, and over 225 since my niece Sophia was born 7 years ago.  That kid has never seen me as a thin person!  


Speaking of Sophie, here she is at last weekend’s Halloween party, dressed as Dorothy Gale from ‘the Wizard of Oz’


I’d love for her to see her Uncle Doug in the 1990s; I was cleaning out my bedroom closet a couple weekends ago, and behind a couple old winter coats were 3-4 heavy hangers with a half dozen dress pants (from the days when I wore a shirt and tie to the office).  I held one pair of pants up against me and both marveled & grimaced at their size.  The waist was six inches smaller than what I wear now, and they don’t even have a hidden expanding waistband! 

I need to come up with a game plan here, and after some real thought I’m going to do 2 things right away:

  1. STEER CLEAR OF THE FROZEN FOODS AISLE AT THE MARKET—well, avoid the corndogs & chicken wings at least.  And no more Hungry Man dinners!
  2. POST MY WEIGHT ON A WEEKLY BASIS FOR EVERYONE TO SEE.  If you look at the right hand side of this page, where it says ‘Labels’, I’m adding a new one—where I’m going to post my weight every Friday & hopefully embarrass myself into dropping 25 pounds! 

To be honest, I really debated writing about this—not because I’m embarrassed about my jelly belly, but when someone asks “Hey Doug what’s up” & I reply “Well, since you asked...”  all I want to hear back is “ok, have a good one” or “Well, I like chubby guys”.  What I usually get is lots of unwanted advice (drink water, eat 6 mini-meals daily, walk more) from peeps that are either bigger than me or 15 years younger & don’t understand that I knew about the benefits of skinless chicken & brown rice when they were still chowing down on mother’s milk.  Thanks, but no thanks.  

I have the answers, I just need to find the initiative! 

January 1979


  1. Doug, it is a sad fact that our bodies come to hate us after a certain age. At 46, I eat right and yet my weight does not go down. Even 30 minutes on the treadmill barely puts a dent in it. But the fact is, we have to do what we have to do to be healthy. We don't want to be part of the 2/3 statistic you quoted. My big killer is regular soda. If I have a couple regular Cokes out on the weekend, up goes my weight by a few pounds. I have to stick to my Coke Zero or water.

    I wish you all the luck. Deciding to do something is half the battle. Oh, and figure out how to cook smaller portions OR take parts of it and freeze it for meals later.

  2. Thanks for sharing Martin, and boy I can relate to your Coke story--I LOVE the stuff, but it always makes my weight go up--I have some in the fridge right now, but I make one 20 oz bottle last for 3 days.

    And yessir I am all about the freezing of leftovers, but there's some things you just can't do that with--I know what I have to do, I just have to get in that mindset. Thanks again for your comments!

  3. Hi Doug~
    I'm cheering on your efforts! I'm 46 and a woman so I know how hard the whole metabolism thing is. I've yo-yo'd my whole life. But I lost 25 pounds three years ago and have managed to keep it off. This is the longest I have managed to stay at a consistent weight. There were a few things I did differently this time - one of them is not shaming myself. I'll be interested to see your progress. Take care!

  4. Hi Holly Marie, thanks so much for reading my blog--and the encouragement! You brought up something good here; it's one thing to lose the pounds, but KEEPING them off is where the real accolades belong--that's awesome, good for you. Well, I agree that 'shame' isn't exactly the best way to go, but I thought it would keep me on my toes for awhile :) Thank you again HM.

  5. Bravo Doug! Sounds like you're on an incredible journey.

    I've been doing the same this past year with positive results. I found that it's a give and take when it comes to diet and exercise: making adjustments then readjustments. Eventually my mind and body started adapting. There's a way to go but just being on the right path...makes one feel so good.

    Keep going my friend, you can do it! You'll have fun too.

    Happy belated birthday :)

  6. Hi Chelly, it's nice to hear from you; well, thank you for your input here, I like you always put a positive spin on things--I hope some of that enthusiasm rubs off on me :) Hope you're doing good, and thank you again.

  7. You're right where I am in life brother. (41 years young here!) I've been eating good for a little over a week now, and can already "feel" the results!

    My motivation was a combination of health reasons, and like you, just want to look better. I have a whole closet of shirts I can no longer fit into. Bowling, Hawaiian, long sleeves, you name it.

    For what it's worth.. here's what I'm doing.

    Started drinking my coffee black. (A week later.. I realize exactly how much sugar and fat I was consuming daily with my 6 cups of coffee, and it scares me!)

    No red meat. (Wasn't too hard since we usually use ground turkey, chicken, and pork.)

    Trying to stay under 40 grams of Sugar a day. (Man is this a tough one! I don't count sugar from fruit because after all.. ITS FRUIT!)

    More Veggies. (I can eat A LOT of food. Veggies are good filler, and will strip fat from your system in a hurry.)

    No Fast Food. (I just try not to drive by any burger joints on the way home)

    No dairy. (Again.. not too hard since I only used milk for the occasional bowl of cereal, and coffee). The other night I went out with the boys to our local watering hole, and ordered a personal size veggie pizza, with no cheese. The UN-saltiness was the biggest thing I noticed, but other than that, it was great! I also felt really good about eating so healthy.)

    Limiting the booze. (When I went out with the guys, I drank Michelob Ultra, & a couple of non alcoholic brews, and the NA's tasted just as good as the real stuff.)

    Exercise. (Easier said than done in the winter, but I love biking, and will do so whenever the weather permits)

    I'm a heart attack waiting to happen, so I HAVE to do this NOW. The biggest thing I've learned this week, is that it truly takes planning to eat right. It helps me SO much to pack my lunches, because then.. I have total control over what I eat during the day.

    Oh yeah.. I'm letting myself have one cheat meal on each of my days off. Otherwise, I can see myself failing miserably by relapsing! I know my plan may sound a bit drastic for some, but my life needs a jolt, and I can't wait any longer.

    I'm also worried about maintaining my weight and health as time goes on, so hopefully I can find some good resources on how to do this

    Good on you for talking the first step. Let me know of any tricks you find that work for you!!

  8. Hey Darrin--thanks for taking the time to share all that! I have to be honest here, when I was reading everything I thought "I love this guy but he's really taking some drastic measures"--but the more I think about it, the more I realize that you're just taking this very seriously. Dammit you're right, I need to step up my game here too--thanks again.

  9. In Retrospect.. I hope I didn't come off as trying to point you in any kind of direction. I was just sharing what I'm doing. To tell you the truth.. the first week was easy. NOW.. it's getting tougher to maintain this eating regimen. It's like my body is throwing every craving in the book at me this week! There's got to be a happy medium somewhere though. Maybe I can ease up on the diet reigns a bit, and compensate with more exercise? Geez.. this is tougher than I thought it'd be!!

  10. AND... I just learned they're making coconut TWIX now! ARGH!!!! (it's like they want me to fail) LOL

  11. Haha--coconut Twix, I feel your pain!

    Darrin thanks for the extra feedback man--no you didn't come across as "dispensing advice", you made it clear you're a guy in a similar situation and detailed what YOU'RE doing about it, I enjoyed reading it (and it DID make me think twice about the Hazelnut Coffeemate in the morning)! The thing is, I do think you're taking on a LOT at once--I know that for me (when I've successfully lost weight before) that I started out with a couple "inconsequential things" (like swearing off potato chips and ice cream) and built on that, as I dropped a little and got more and more encouraged. Right now I'm just proud of myself for going a WHOLE WEEK without potato chips, french fries or hamburgers--haven't done that in years! Thanks again for sharing Darrin, keep me posted on your progress!

  12. Doug--good luck with this goal. If you put your mind to it, I know you can do it! I know you don't want the unwanted advice, but I just want to say

    Hey! Apparently all of my retro friends have found their way to your blog (or they found it before I did.) I know every single commenter here!

  13. Thanks Pam, your input always means a lot to me! And yes, isn't that funny about your retro-pals finding their way here, all very nice people & to be honest I wouldn't know them if it weren't for you :)

  14. Oops, I didn't realize that my comment got cut off. I was going to say, if the thought of exercise is a drag, it helps to do fun physical activities (like Darrin mentioned bike riding.) I tried cross country skiing a few years ago and like it so much that I try to get out on the snow a couple of times during the winter. It sure helps the winter go by faster.

  15. Pam that's interesting you write that, as I've always wanted to try cross country skiing--well for now I'm just trying to cut back on the portions, give up junk as much as possible & walk instead of driving. Once I lose a few more, I'll get into some "real" activity :)

  16. Doug, you've seen my pictures. I'm a fatty. A few years ago, my mom died morbidly obese and it just killed me to see her total loss of dignity with people trying to care for her. As I watched the strain on her caregivers' faces when they'd try to lift her or even just roll her over, I thought, "Jesus, I don't want that to be ME."

    A couple of months after her death, one of my best friends passed away of a heart attack (at 42!). Something just "clicked" with me at that point. I didn't do anything special. Just counted calories and tracked everything that passed my lips. I went to the gym and started strength training. I'd rather walk barefoot over hot coals than do aerobic exercise, LOL. I lost about 30 pounds, but it was the strength training that made such a difference. I was still pretty overweight, but I felt better than I had in years. Strong! Capable! Woo!

    And then the motivation just went away. I don't know how to get that "click" back, and if you find it let me know. You can do it if you set your mind to it. Just find your "click."

  17. Marseeya, I sure was sorry to read about your mom--no one should have to feel like they've lost their dignity, it's not like anyone ASKED to gain all the weight! Anyway, I have heard that strength training does far more than cardio exercises or aerobics--I'm sorry you lost your click, but wow 30 lbs! Well, right now my focus is nothing grand, I'm just trying to reduce a pound a week--I'll even celebrate if it's 1/2 :) I know I need to get in some more exercise, for now I am just trying my best to eat healthier--I've now gone 2 weeks without french fries (and for me, that's HUGE). Anyway Marseeya, thank you for sharing your story & I hope you get your 'click' back and omigosh I know JUST what you mean. Hang in there.

  18. Marcia, I honestly knew that--I could tell by your writing :)


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