I suck at blogging, but…

I seem to be doing okay at weight loss this time around.  Weight Watchers is doing it for me, man.  I am digging their new SmartPoints program.  I’ll weigh in tomorrow.

I’m not going to be a daily blogger.  It’s just not in me, especially with a family, side jobs, main job, dissertation, and other things getting in the way.  I envy those of you who can do it; I am not one of you.

But I’m not going to quit.  I’ll try to post here at least once a week, probably on Fridays, with my weigh-ins.  And I’m leaving it up because from time to time, I will want to write something, and this is where I’ll do it.

I still have Stellar Path, too, but that is a blog my my wife and I are going to share about lesson plans, education, and home schooling.  I’m working in my off-time to write some lesson plans that I’m going to provide on Teachers Pay Teachers, and that’s what Stellar Path will become.  I plan to move some of those posts from there that I don’t want to move to here, so you may see some oldies show up from time to time.

See you around!

Probably tomorrow, because I do plan to weigh in tomorrow.

Product Review: Nalgene!

Okay, I had a different product planned to review, but we ended up not eating said product this week, so it’ll have to wait until next week.

But, I have pledged to blog every day this month, so for today, I am reviewing Nalgene!

I don’t think this is a product that needs introduction, but if it does, it’s a water bottle brand that is pretty much indestructibe.

I bought this particular Nalgene in 1996 during my first semester in college.

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Over the last twenty years (and it has been used regularly over the last 20 years), the only problem is that the Western Kentucky University writing on it has faded.  I consider that pretty impressive.

It still seals tight and functions fantastically.  Even the plastic top is still going strong.

Nalgene will pretty much always be my water bottle of choice.  It’s dishwasher safe, it can survive abuse, and it’s just sturdy.  I’ve dropped this on the ground more than I can count, including pavement and concrete, and while there are some scuff marks, it still works beautifully!

Twenty years down.  I’m kinda curious now to know just how long this bottle will last me!

One-Photo Wednesday: The Skull Beret Today

Last Wednesday, I showed you the cosplay Henry and I did as Bulk and Skull.

Today, I’m showing you the Skull beret that Tina made for his cosplay.  My favorite part: Jason Narvy actually drew the question mark block on it, which is a staple of the Skull beret.

One Halloween, I found a cheap skull at Big Lots.

The skull beret sits on the fake skull in my office.  I love it; it reminds me of my son, Power Rangers, and just having a good time.

skullberet

What I Don’t Like About the Body Positivity/Fat Acceptance Movement

Last Tuesday, I mentioned what I did like about the body positivity and fat acceptance movement.

Today, I’m going to talk about what I do not like, and really, it’s just one thing.

Science Denialism

First of all, Health at Every Size (HAES) very often goes hand-in-hand with Body Positivity but not always.  Also, the things I am going to talk about today are things that I have read and witnessed, but that does not obviously mean that all fat acceptance or body positive individuals feel this way.

But…

I have seen SO many people (and I used to be one of them, sadly) who would claim starvation mode.  “I eat less than 1000 calories a day, and I have for months, but I’m not losing weight!”

No.  That’s literally impossible.  Starvation Mode is a thing… and it does not occur in obese people.  Ever.  It stemmed from the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, which occurred in the 1940s at the University of Minnesota.  Basically, what the researchers found was that in a pool of 36 men, when they underwent extreme calorie restriction, they rapidly lost weight and eventually entered a period where the calorie restriction did not quite coincide with the amount of weight lost.  These men were drastically underweight.  In other words, starvation mode only happens when someone is dramatically underweight.  It simply will not occur in someone who is at a normal (or higher) weight.

Again, I used to believe this.  I honestly thought that some weeks, I wasn’t losing weight because I wasn’t eating enough.

If you really stop to think about this for a minute, that seems ridiculous.  If people could gain (or even maintain) weight by not eating enough, then how in the world are there starving people?

People have been shown to be wildly inaccurate at calorie estimation.  I would surmise that both for myself and others who believe they are/were in starvation mode, they were likely consuming a lot more calories than they suspected.  (And of course, I suspect some people just lie, but I know there are some people truly flummoxed by their results.  The likely culprit – too many calories.)

This isn’t the only science denialism that HAES and their ilk come up with.

Some HAES and fat activists claim is it healthier to be obese.  I can’t even argue with this one, because it would be like arguing that the sun is purple.  As this 2009 article (found on PubMed) clearly states, “obesity is strongly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality as well as cardiovascular and cancer mortality.”  Better yet, “weight loss can result in a significant reduction in risk for the majority of these comorbid conditions.”  So… there are HAES advocates out there who are actively discouraging people from losing weight, despite the fact that it can and does save people’s lives.

Disgusting.

Some claim that it is impossible to lose weight.  Some cite a 95% figure for diets that fail.

Well… if 95% of all diets fail, then maybe do one of the 5% that work.  And this figure, in particular, is one that I do not doubt is true.  Most diets do fail, because most people won’t stick to them.  So really, it isn’t the diet that fails; it is the dieter that fails.  Stopping smoking has a success rate of only four to seven percent, according to the American Cancer Society.  By following HAES logic, then people should just keep smoking because the vast majority won’t be successful at quitting anyway.

I will not be part of the 95%; I am going to be a five percenter, and some activists – (one even calls herself a “trained researcher,” despite having no college degree – no kidding) – with internet connections and the ability to (poorly) Google will not dissuade me.

But again, I’m not worried about me.  I’m worried about people who are struggling to lose weight, come across these echo chambers of people denying the very real science of weight loss, and then they just give up.  And it happens, all the time. 

Dieting is hard; I get it.  I struggle with it, too.  But quitting and being fat are even harder.  So… pick your hard.  And the hard I pick is to lose weight.

Motivation Monday: Dress Shirts

Every Monday, I think I’m going to share a picture or a story or both about something that is helping to keep me on track.

And for today, this first Motivation Monday, it’s men’s dress shirts.

dressshirts

Why men’s dress shirts?

Fat guys tend to “wear” their bellies in one of two ways.  Either tucked into their pants with a high waist or beneath their guts.  I’m the latter; neither look is especially flattering.  The reason why I do the latter is I because I think it always looks better, but I’m sure guys who do the former would say the same thing.

Basically, tucking in a shirt is pure hell for me.  I hate it.  I hate having a gut and I hate trying to make it look as neat as possible.  It’s frustrating and frankly, a little embarrassing, to have a nicely starched shirt and to have to futz with it to make it look OKAY.  Not good, just okay.

I work at a job where I occasionally have to dress up.  I prefer dressing up in the winter because I can wear a sweater with it, which (in my mind, at least) hides part of the problem.

I have a few dress shirts that I can wear; I have a long torso, which makes tucking in around my belly even harder, because the shirt has to be much longer than normal.

If I were body positive or the fat acceptance type, I would demand equal treatment in clothing and longer shirts!  But I’m not, because I’m 100% for personal accountability.  So I’m losing weight.

Dress shirts motivate me.  I look forward to the day when I can just go into a store, buy a shirt because I like the color, and tuck it in easily without stress, drama, or continually checking the mirror.

The day is coming.  It’s a few years down the road, but it’s coming and I can’t wait.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The First Team and Video #0

This is The Ranger Project, and that means I need to talk some about the Power Rangers.  Every Sunday, I’m going to do a post about the Power Rangers.  When I can, I’ll also include videos.

So, today’s post is about the very first team, team numero uno, the five who started it all.

If you don’t know anything about the Power Rangers, it is about a group of ordinary teenagers who are given access to a universe of power.  This power manifests itself by turning these teens into the Power Rangers.  Our first group, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, become Rangers by using Power Coins.

Basically, five ordinary teens and they turn into a spandex-wearing (for now) group of superheroes instantly by morphing.

I think this instantaneous morphing process is part of the appeal for me.  They don’t put on costumes.  They weren’t born on distant planets.  They didn’t train really hard.  They immediately become a superhero team by holding their power morphers up and calling the name of the dinosaur that their power is based on.

What I wouldn’t give for weight loss to work the same way.

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They have weapons; they have innate knowledge of how to fight and operate their equipment.  They have gigantic Zords, which can combine to make the powerful MegaZord.

There is a new movie coming out in 2017.  It’s a reboot, so we get our first five teens ago, albeit with some ethnic switching around (to avoid the black Black Ranger and Asian Yellow Ranger).  I am beyond excited about this movie and I cannot wait to see it!

newteam

From left to right, this new group is Billy, Kimberly, Zack, Trini, and Jason.  Not gonna lie; just seeing this photo gets me excited for the film!  Oh, and Elizabeth Banks is going to play the new Rita Repulsa.  How freaking awesome is that?

I’m working my way through the first season by watching one episode a day while I walk on the treadmill.  Hopefully, starting next weekend, I’ll have my first video where I describe what I’m finding and experiencing again as I watch these old episodes (in some cases, for the first time in years).

But for today, just enjoy this video of me describing what The Ranger Project is going to be all about.

 

What I Learned Today At Weight Watchers

For the next few months, my Saturday mornings are going to be pretty routine.

I’m going to go to my Weight Watchers meeting at 10 a.m. and then to my office at work to write on my dissertation.  (I hope to graduate in August, which means I have to defend my dissertation by mid-June.  And that’s about three months away.  Yikes!)

So before I head home for the day, I’m writing out this quick blog post.

I’m happy to be going back to WW meetings.  Carla is our typical Saturday morning leader, and she’s awesome.

Today, we talked a bit about the positive impact of exercise and weight loss.

One member shared that her cholesterol has dropped 65 points because of weight loss.  Holy cow.  How amazing is that?  Another person shared that she’s gone off of her blood pressure medication.

Myself?  I am pre-diabetic.  All through my 20s and early 30s, my blood sugar levels were fine, even as I was morbidly obese.  Now, not so much. I’m not diabetic yet, but it’s coming.  And I have to get this changed, right now.  Weight loss and exercise is how I’m going to do it.

Every Saturday that I get to go to meetings (which will hopefully be most of them), I’ll share what insight I gained at the meetings.  Today, I left on fire to do this. 

An Uneventful Weigh-in

This week’s weigh-in covered a pretty short window, as I weighed in for the first time on Friday.  For the most part, I plan to only weigh in on Fridays.  I did simple calorie counting this week.  I’m going to switch to SmartPoints next week.

So, how did I do, first week on the new Ranger Project?

March 4, 2016

Weight: 416.4

Change from Last Week: –2.6 pounds

Change from Highest: –13.6 pounds

Woo hoo!  I will happily take it!

I’m afraid I don’t have anything clever to share today.  I’m posting this late; today was a rather exhausting day.  Not a bad day, mind you, but a long one.  On the plus side, I did get to meet Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton at a meeting today, so that was interesting.

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