Category Archives: The Weigh-in

Health is not a state of mind, it’s a state of action



When I started this blog in October 2010, I said then that it may not be my last time trying to lose weight. In fact, as the graph above shows, these last five years were anything but a victorious decent toward skinnier jeans.

Weight loss is often described as a roller coaster, and for someone who has struggled with weight and their relationship with food for their entire life, it’s interesting to look back on what I’ve done, examine what I’ve learned, and see how that correlates over time.

Things I’ve deduced:

-I start strong every year, but end up giving it all back (and sometimes then some) by year’s end.

-Based on what was going on in my life at the time, it was a combination of how I deal with stress during busy times (by letting go of will power and stress eating everything in sight) and having that coincide with the holiday season from Halloween to New Years (when everything delicious IS actually in sight).

-The greatest dip in my weight loss came in mid-2013 when I was walking at least 3 miles per day, three to five times per week for more than 250 miles that year.

-I always thought healthy, or at least thought of my health or lack of healthiness the entire time, but it was only during times of action that anything positive occurred.

And now I’m basically back where I started from. I ended up in the same cycle this November and December. Combined with an impending move and having all of my stuff in boxes, I gained a lot of weight back in the latter part of 2014 and early 2015. But part of the reason I made huge changes in my life was to actualize my desire to be a healthier, happier person. This week is my sixth week in Northern California and I’m learning something new with each experience a new week brings.

I was recently talking to my friend Neil about this blog and he said what I knew a long time ago, that it lost its focus. Really, that’s a reflection on me and the fact that I had lost focus in making my physical health a priority. I’ve mentioned briefly before that I have struggled with major back issues throughout the last several years. I’ve been recovering for the first time since mid-August and every day I get better in that regard.

Which leads to where I am now, and what I’m doing to get to what’s next.  Continue reading Health is not a state of mind, it’s a state of action

Still pushin’


Took this on the scale this morning. Still working toward 220 and below. Almost there.

Gonna get it.

As for the scale: Today, I weigh 221.4 lbs. I’ve lost 1 lb. since my last weigh in.

I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs., in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 45.6 lbs.

All the heavy lifting


It’s time to shake it up again.

Since January my main tool for weight loss has been miles-long walks and bursts of cardio on the treadmill or elliptical. I used 30 second intervals and wrist weights to help melt the fat and shape my flabby batwing arms. For all the wrist weight haters, too bad for you, they actually work. My arms lost some girth and gained some shape. My legs too. Actually, my legs are friggin’ ripped because I’ve been walking so much.  I’ve walked 60 miles since March 19, which is crazy considering I wouldn’t get off my couch just a few months ago.

If you’re looking to start your own fitness routine, let me pass on this advice: Suck it up and jump in. It’s going to be a challenge for a couple of weeks to a month, but eventually you’ll find that your body craves the exercise more than it wants you to lounge around. Tough it out and you will be rewarded.

Speaking of rewards, I’ve figured out the best gift to give myself: weight lifting. Thank you, Niyaz. You’re welcome, Niyaz. 

It’s been a long time coming, but the time is right to transition. Lifting reshapes the body and builds a strong, lasting frame. I have separated my plan into two parts, the first involving two to three months of a total body cable machine regimen and the second involving a 12-week free weight program. From there we’ll see, but for now, here’s where I’m at, courtesy of this amazing resource at Answerfitness.

Workout #1 (Day One) Exercises
Chest Press Machine: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Pull Ups (Can be performed on a pull-up station with assist or a traditional pull-up bar): Perform as many pull-ups as you can for 3 sets.
(Substitute Exercise: Cable or Lat Machine Pulldowns)
Seated Overhead Shoulder Press Machine: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Seated Leg Press Machine: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Seated Calf Raise Machine: 15 Reps for 3 Sets
Bicep Curl Machine: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Tricep Pressdown Machine: Perform as many dips as you can for 3 sets.
Back Extensions (performed on 45 degree back extension bench): One Set of 15
Swiss/Stability Ball Ab Crunches: 20-25
Rest and Recover for at least 48 hours.

Workout #2 (Day Two) Exercises
Dips: Perform as many reps as possible for 3 sets
Cable Rows: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
(Substitute Exercise: Seated Machine Rows)
Cable Front Shoulder Raises: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Smith Machine Squats: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Smith Machine Standing Calf Raises: 15 Reps for 3 Sets
Cable Bicep Curls: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Cable Tricep Pressdown: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Back Extensions (performed on 45 degree back extension bench): One Set of 15
Hanging Leg Raises/Roman Chair (Abs): Perform as many as you can for 3 sets
Rest and Recover for at least 48 hours.

Workout #3 (Day Three) Exercises
Pec Deck Machine: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Lat Cable Pulldown: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
(Substitute Exercise: Lat Pulldown Machine)
Cable Side Shoulder Raises: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Smith Machine Lunges: 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Seated Calf Press (Performed on Leg Press Machine): 15 Reps for 3 Sets
Reverse Bicep Curl Machine (Palms down): 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Cable Press Downs (performed with palms up on the bar) 8-10 Reps for 3 Sets
Back Extensions (performed on 45 degree back extension bench): One set of 15
V-Crunches/Jack-Knife Sit Up (Abs): Perform as many as you can for 3 sets.

I’ve already completed the full routine for one week and I can feel this working already. I’m focusing on form and tempo rather than the amount of weight I can lift. If you focus first on those things, you will gain strength inevitably and the numbers will increase.

I’ll share numbers soon, but in the meantime, at least I’ve dropped another pound. I expect to lose little in the initial stages of this transition, as muscle weighs more than fat, but eventually I know the muscle is what I need to continue losing weight.


As for the scale: Last week I weighed 223.8 lbs. Today, I weigh 222.4 lbs.; a loss of 1.4 lbs.

I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs., in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 44.6 lbs.

Fat Dude On A Diet: Report Card No. 3


I was on the treadmill before work one day in late January, feeling pretty confident because for the first time in my life I was running.

Granted, I was doing intervals—running one minute for every four minutes of walking—BUT I WAS RUNNING, voluntarily, and not to catch the ice cream man. I was going strong to a track by How to Destroy Angels when the next song on my playlist, Paramore’s “Now,” started up just as I entered the last few minutes of my workout.

Maybe it was the rushing drums, or the sweat pouring down my face, but I hit my stride when the chorus came in:

“Lost the battle/ win the war
I’m bringing my sinking ship back to the shore.
We’re starting over/ or head back in
There’s a time and a place to die/ but this ain’t it.”

There was still some time to go before my final interval started, but I felt my legs start pushing. I kicked up the speed to “thunderous strut” and went for it. “There’s a time and a place to die/ But this ain’t it.The words screamed through my brain, punctuating themselves with every hard smack of each foot on the track.

My eyes welled up with (handsome, bearded man) tears. They blended with the sweat and I wiped it all away in motion. I reached over and kicked the speed up even more, thinking my lungs might implode and my heart would burst in the last 15 seconds. I glanced over, seemingly three times for every creeping millisecond, in anticipation of the finish line.

When it came, I slammed on the stop button and nearly fell backward. Sitting up against the wall, I panted like a labrador. My eyes were closed and I could feel every molecule of my body radiating with burning heat.

“I’m bringing my sinking ship back to the shore.” The phrase pulsed through mind as the warmth began to cool in lessening waves.

That was the moment I stopped punishing myself for my perceived failures and accepted the idea that those things are only setbacks. Setbacks become strengths when you decide to learn from them.

And I’m dedicated to learning. Finally.

Most all restaurants, and especially ones that serve poor-quality food, are out. If I don’t know what’s in it, or the ingredients are processed or have chemicals in them, I won’t eat it. No soda. No candy that’s not dark chocolate. Exercise is a must. Weight loss happens when you create a calorie deficit, so if you aint’ movin’, you ain’t loosin’.

I’ve established a new normal. Three to six-mile walks have become part of my daily routine. Whole, unprocessed foods are what I turn to instead of something from the drive-thru. These days, the microwave is my kitchen clock more than it is an appliance used to heat food.

It clicked. I’m not going to lose this weight by eating healthier. I’m not going to drop the gut by hitting the gym. The only way to truly change is to examine and conquer the walls I’ve built around food and exercise. My physical results are the effect of that mental change.

This has to come from within. It has to be a burning fire with a radiating warmth. All day, every day.

I’m halfway to where I want to be. Any time in my life before this week, the thought of having a shirtless picture of myself on the Internet was horrifying. But progress is liberating.

I went from XXL to L; from a tight 47-inch waist to a comfortable size-40. I shot the first photo at the top on the night before I launched this blog. I’m certainly not the guy on the left anymore. And even though I took the picture on the right this morning, I don’t really feel like that dude either.

In my mind, I’m already wearing size 30-something jeans and medium T-shirts. In my mind, I have more muscle, no love handles and shoulder blades. My gut will be vanquished. I can see my toes and they look sexy as hell. In my mind, I’m under 199 lbs. and still losing. It’s coming. I have earned this. AND I will finish. This report card celebrates my lowest weight in since the mid-2000’s. I find comfort knowing I’m closer to 200 lbs. than I once was to 300.

“Lost the battle/ win the war.”

Win the war.


There’s just a six pound difference between this report card and the second one I wrote back in March 2012 (230.7 lbs.), but by the end of December 2012 I was back at 244 lbs.. While the difference in numbers isn’t huge, physically I have more muscle now than before and my body’s shape is different; I’m nearly out of a wardrobe because everything is too big. My stamina is far improved–meaning, now I actually have some stamina–and my athletic prowess, if one could call it that, is better than it’s been in my entire life, from childhood on. When I started really hitting the gym I could only plank 10 seconds. I’m up to 40 now. I would never run before and now I chuck my large ass up hills at full speed.

The biggest difference between this report card and the last is in attitude. I understand my relationship to food and instead of letting it have a hold on me, I know that when I’m strong I can have a hold on it. This all always felt like a chore until now–the shopping, the cooking, the exercising–but somewhere along the line it stopped being a burden. I started at “can’t do,” struggled with “can do,” and now, the only thing I see is “will do.”

I weighed 237.5 lbs. at my first check in of the year. Today, I weigh 223.8 lbs. That’s a total loss of 13.7 lbs. since Jan. 11, 2013.

 I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs. in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 43.2 lbs.

To lose weight, establish a new normal


Sometimes weight loss can be such a rollercoaster of gains and losses, elation and frustration.

Today, though, is a good day.

My weigh-in today represents a new low for this blog (the previous low was 226.4 lbs.) and is the lowest I have weighed in about 10 years, which is the last time I actively tried to lose weight. I did then, going from 239 lbs. to 202 lbs., but over the course of a couple years after, I ballooned even higher to 267.

The scariest thing about that was when I realized I was only 30 lbs. away from 300 lbs. Now I’m less than 30 lbs. away from 200 lbs. and I couldn’t be more happy that the consistent, daily effort I’ve put in since January is actually paying off. I set a goal of hitting 220 lbs. by the end of March and I’m on my way to making it.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last couple days, wondering how I got here and why I failed so many times before. The best way to sum it up is that to earn weight loss you must establish a new normal. My daily calorie allowance is in the ballpark of 1,500 calories. I try to walk at least 5 times a week, and I don’t count that as exercise if I can also make it to the gym that day. Basically, weaving healthy habits and actions into the weight-loss plan, and adopting those ideas as a part of your everyday life seems to be the only way that weight loss does not seem like a burdensome chore.

There’s been several times that I’ve established a new normal only to give it all back because I fall into old ways. That’s where consistency, desire and will power come into play: How much do you want this, and how much will you sacrifice to get there?

I want this more than I ever have. Cheers to the new normal–and a new low.

As for the scale: Last week I weighed 227 lbs. Today, I weigh 224.9 lbs.; a one-week loss of 2.1 lbs.

I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs., in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 42.1 lbs.

Fat Dude on a Fitness Plan


Exercise has always been the missing element, but this was the week I decided to really commit.

Since January, I’ve been working hard to reverse the weight gain of the previous several months by squaring up my weight loss plan and executing in phases. In January I started cooking at home strictly and peppered in some exercise. In February I tightened up the exercise schedule, making it to the gym at least 3 mornings a week and doing an hour of cardio/boxing on Mondays and Fridays. This month, I’m putting even more effort into movement.

The biggest difference this month (and the last couple weeks of last month) has been the 45 min. walks I’ve been doing on my lunch breaks at work. I take a pair of shorts and shoes and hit an approximately 2-mile course every day with a friend. I’ve found myself running down the streets a few times, too, as my energy levels have increased as a benefit of the workouts.

Cardio/boxing, which is part of a wellness program at my work, still stays, plus that 5:30 session before work a few times per week. Nadia and I worked out a plan to add a day or two of strength training, too, on Wednesdays and (sometimes) the Saturdays she has off from work, which tend to alternate.

Here’s what I did this week:

Monday: 1 hr. cardio/boxing; 45 min. afternoon walk

Tuesday: 30 min. morning elliptical machine at gym; 45 min. afternoon walk; 45 min. evening walk

Wednesday: 45 min. afternoon walk; 45 min. strength training machines/15 min. cardio at gym

Thursday: Off day; 45 min. afternoon walk

Friday: 1 hr. cardio/boxing

Looking at the list it seems like a lot, but it’s mostly in-tune with how I am feeling these days. More than anything, I want to move. So why not make it happen?

I’ve been meaning to write more blog posts and write up my trip to San Francisco, but in my list of priorities that are not Nadia, writing blog posts comes after cooking healthy, exercising and my day job. Meanwhile, the easiest way to catch up with what I’ve been cooking in the kitchen is by the mobile uploads on the Fat Dude on a Diet Facebook page.

I’ve been meaning to post the photos here too, but it’s an extra step I’ll have to work into the routine first.

As for the scale: Last week I weighed 228.7 lbs. Today, I weigh 227 lbs.; a one-week loss of 1.7 lbs.

I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs., in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 40 lbs.

60 days.


My friend passed along a meme on Facebook that was about weight loss and said something along the lines of: “You’ll notice after 30 days, people who know you will notice after 60 days and everyone else will see it after 90.”

I’m 60 days in and feeling better than I have in a long time.

I’ve had a lack of blogging since returning from San Francisco a couple of weeks ago (a post on that will come soon) because I’ve been working nonstop on a project for work, but, whereas before that kind of situation–a vacation into a solid workload–could have led to diet disaster before, I pulled it together this time, for the first time, and kept up as best as I could.

Last year my trip to Vegas was the nail in my dietary coffin. I ate 1,000,000 calories on that trip and never got it together again when I returned. My weight ballooned. Not this time.

When we got back from the Bay, Nadia shopped for frozen fish and veggies from Trader Joe’s and I thawed out the other half of a pork butt I bought a while back and made more cochinita pibil with it. Between that stuff, plus a few sandwiches here and there, we made it through the week without destroying our diets.

I wasn’t able to make it to the gym or do boxing like I usually do, so I took up 45-minute walks each day with a friend on our lunch break. I’m going to keep that up every day until it gets too hot to be outside. Then I plan to walk the mall. My buddy’s at work started calling me a “40-year-old woman with ankle weights” but I can take the smack talk. I’ll take exercise any way I can get it.

That helped to maintain weight, and even continue on the downward path I’ve been on. I’m back in the 220’s, and close to approaching my blog low of 226.4 lbs.

But it’s not just about the scale. Because this is the first time since starting the blog that I’ve really been exercising, I can say the changes in my body are more rewarding than the number on the scale. My legs have solid muscle that wasn’t there before. For the first time in my life, my arms have actual shape to them (which Wifey Nadia is quite the fan of) and I can feel my body wanting to go harder and faster when I exercise.


I decided to lace up the kicks when I was on vacation in NorCal and took a morning walk/run through the Evergreen area of San Jose. I’ve had the urge to voluntarily run lately, and on this particular walk I was urged by an old Indian man I ran into several times that day (possibly my future self/spirit guide; we never decided) to go up the hill below (from the bottom right to the top left).

I nodded okay and instead of just marching up, I ran as fast and hard as I could, getting about 10 steps from the very top. I wanted to stop about halfway up, and only decided to stop once I started panting so hard I couldn’t suck in enough air to breathe.

That very moment is the hardest I have ever pushed myself in my entire life.


The work is paying off. I fit into a good-looking size of dress shirts again, so I’ve been able to break out my nice shirts and ties for work.

My jeans were feeling loose lately so I went to the mall to see if I could fit into a pair of 40″s. I did! It was a great feeling, because I remember how sad I felt when I measured a size 47″ for my wedding. I keep reminding myself of the mass needed to fill an extra seven inches of gut protruding in front of me and I can’t help but feel pride for this accomplishment.

I keep reveling in the fact that this is the best I’ve felt in my life. I have more knowledge about food than I ever have, and the desire to be fit is burning bright.

I’m back in the kitchen this week full time, so Wifey Nadia and I put a menu together using various ideas and recipes from several cookbooks.

Here’s what I’m cooking this week:

-Roast Beef and havarti sandwiches with balsamic onion marmelade and arugula
-Mushroom chicken and spicy crumb broccoli
-Provençal chicken with honey roasted carrots
-Cuban picadillo with rice and black beans
-Shrimp and black bean enchiladas with salsa verde

Regular workouts to resume, too. Onward. Forward.

As for the scale: Two weeks ago I weighed 230.6 lbs. Today, I weigh 228.7 lbs.; a two-week loss of 1.9 lbs.

I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs., in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 38.3 lbs.

Everything in moderation.


I’ll be going out of town soon, the first time since I started my whole “cook at home” campaign.

While my goal has been to eat 100 percent of meals at home, I haven’t quite made it there yet. Sometimes I’m too tired. Other times we run out of food without finding time to make it to the store. Sometimes the kitchen just needs to be totally wiped down after being treated like a restaurant for days on end.

But for every meal that I can, and a lot of times when I’m forcefully resisting the urge to order out, we’ve been eating our meals at home. And when I do order out, I’ve tried to stick to ordering sandwiches or other small items from the same ethnic grocery stores where I shop, so I’m eating close to what I would prepare at home anyway.

This will be the first time since then where I will be tested out of town. It was inevitable, but I plan to maintain. It’s a matter of using the mantra: “Ditch the worst. Moderate the bad. Binge on the good”

I’m also planning to exercise every morning while I’m gone. No excuses.

See you when I get back from San Francisco. I’ll likely have some good pictures to share.

As for the scale: Two weeks ago I weighed 233.3 lbs. Today, I weigh 230.6 lbs.; a two-week loss of 2.7 lbs.

I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs., in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 36.4 lbs.

Breaking out of the bubble


“Everyone finds themselves in a bubble. What’s important, however, is how one escapes and where they go when they’re free. This change defines someone. It carves their soul out, bridging the gap between ignorance and awareness.” – The Internet

It’s been nearly a month since I made the decision to stop eating at restaurants and I’m really finding groove now. The Mexican menu I started posting this week is proof of that.

Using two proteins (chicken and shrimp) and the small selection of ingredients I purchased at the Mexican market, we’ve been able to eat all week. I’m you’re smart about weighing out serving sizes and eating proper portion sizes, you can pretty much eat anything you want as long as you include a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables within your dishes and between large meals.

This week we’ve had: Breakfast tostadas (60 calories for 1 baked corn tortilla) and breakfast burritos (123 calories for 1 uncooked flour tortilla), plus chicken tostadas; rice bowls with braised chicken and pickled red onion; poached shrimp and cotija-lime corn; burritos with chicken, beans, rice and cheese; black bean and chicken quesadillas; and shrimp fried Mexican rice.

I’m so proud of that list considering we made 26 purchases at various restaurants, cafes, etc. last month. That’s almost once a day for an entire month. Putting a stop to that habit has made a huge difference on the wallet and the waist.

It helps that Nadia and I have also been pushing to create that all-important calorie deficit at the gym. My plan is to focus on the most basic of all exercises, walking, to propel my weight loss for these first several months. I started two weeks ago with 30 minute sessions and was able to to go 3.2 mph at a 2 incline. I was moving at 3.6 mph at a 2 incline on my last gym visit.

Small steps to big leaps. It’s happening.

As for the scale: Last week I weighed 234.5 lbs. Today, I weigh 233.3 lbs.; a one-week loss of 1.2 lbs.

I was at my heaviest weight, 267 lbs., in August 2009. That’s a total loss of 33.7 lbs.


Words to live by: “Just say no” & “Just do it”


I’ve been living by two phrases this week: “Just say no” and “Just do it.”

Here are two real-life examples of how they come into play:

1) Brain: “CANDY!! CANDY!! CANDY!!” Filter: “Just say no.” Result: “I will have an apple instead.”

2) Brain: “You don’t have to go to the gym in the morning before work. STAY IN BED BUDDY! RELAX! You can go to the gym tonight after work. You’ll probably be tired after a long day, but you’ll make this promise to yourself and you’ll do it, probably.” Filter: “Just do it.” Result: 30 minutes of cardio four times this week.

I’m starting to realize that in order to change my lifestyle for the long haul, I have to consciously make each and every decision to be healthy, one by one, all day, everyday. ‘Just say no’ to the bad, ‘just do’ the good.

The quest to cook every meal at home continues. This week I cooked all of my breakfasts at home, and lunches and dinners included chicken wings, tostadas, lasagne and broiled chicken with Cambodian kampot peppercorn. I had a chivito sandwich for lunch at Puerto Madero Market on Friday because we were out of food so I went grocery shopping and picked up something there at the market. On Thursday I had the Sprouts deli make me a sandwich, hold the mayo, so I could rest my back at home.

Meals were quicker this week than last and I think the speed will continue to pickup as I get better at utilizing my ingredients and my kitchen space.

As for the scale: Last week I weighed 237.5 lbs. Today, I weigh 234.5 lbs.; a one-week loss of 3 lbs.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...