Weight Watchers, Seven Weeks In

I had my first weigh-in at Weight Watchers at work on January 31st, where I weighed 434.0 pounds.  That was my highest weight ever.  I felt terrible.  I ached; I hurt; I didn’t like the way I looked.  My body was in pain.  At my weight, I’m basically carrying an extra 250 pounds more than I should be. 

In the last six weeks, I have lost 21.8 pounds.  That’s an average of a little 3 pounds a week.

I’m attaching this photo, just because I think we need to have visual representations of our weight loss.  This first photo isn’t great; it’s actually a screen shot, which is why I look like a little, uhm, weird.  Next to it is a photo I took this morning, at my current weight of 412.2. 

jan to march 2017

(Quick note: 1st photo weirdness – video screencap.  2nd photo weirdness – I hate selfies.  I really do.  I’d much rather have a candid, unplanned photo of me that someone else took.)

Smile aside, I can see some differences in those photos.  This isn’t a great comparison shot; I have a different stance in each picture, so I naturally look a little more broad in the first picture than I do in the second.  But I do think I look a little slimmer in the face.

For what it’s worth, I do have a nice, proper front shot of me at my highest.  However, it is me without a shirt, and while that photo will someday see the light of day, that day is not today. 

I’m not a selfie person.  I just don’t feel a need to take pictures of myself on a regular basis.  Maybe it’s because I’m fat, maybe it’s because I think it’s just a little arrogant – I don’t know.  But I will try to take pictures somewhat regularly to highlight my progress.

I feel REALLY good about this.  I feel like I’m finally going to make it to the finish line.  These past seven weeks have shown me more weight loss than I’ve experienced in YEARS (literally, almost ten years at this point).  I feel like it has finally clicked.  I have said “I’ve got this” tons of times without meaning it, but this time, I’ve got this.

My current Weight Watchers at work cycle ends in the middle of April.  We have about five weeks left.  I won’t be quitting Weight Watchers between the spring and summer sessions, though.  I’ll either do it on my own or pay the fee and go to my local WW center. 

I have two goals, one of which is fairly achievable and the other of which would be a beating.  I’m going to try and hit both.

My first goal: I want to be in the 300s (read: at least 399.8) when WW@WKU ends in a few weeks.  This is a weight loss of 2.5 pounds a week, which is very achievable.

My second goal (the crazy hard one): I want to hit 10% when WW@WKU ends in a few weeks.  This will be a weight loss of 43.4 pounds, which will put me at 390.6.  That’s huge; that will require a weight loss of OVER four pounds a week.  This isn’t impossible, but it’s not a WW approved amount of weight loss.  However, it is possible, especially at my weight.

I’ve actually lost over 4 pounds every week I’ve weighed in except for two.  One week I gained 0.6 pounds, and this week I only lost 0.8 pounds.  The other weeks have all been over four pounds.

I’ll not beat myself up if I don’t hit either goal, but I’m giving myself a stretch goal to see if it can be done.

I’ll try to update my progress here weekly.

Feel free to email, comment, or follow me on Instagram at therangerproject, where I am much more active than I am here.

Dissertation Done-Ish Weigh-In

I am a fairly inconsistent blogger.  I’m not sure of my brand.  I know what I want it to be.  Weight loss coupled with pop culture.  So, that’s what I’m going to try to do.

Fridays are going to be specifically for weight loss.  I like weighing in on Friday, so here it is.

Just a quickie post.  Oh, and as for the title… I’m done-ish with my dissertation.  My defense is scheduled for June 20th, but for now, my full dissertation is with my committee (and has been for a week), so I am just awaiting potential revisions.  Before long, I will be a doctor! (Ed.D., not MD.)

June 10, 2016

Weight: 416.4

Change from All-Time Highest: –13.6 pounds

My plan for the day is to work out with a little Power Rangers on the treadmill later and then relax.

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.

Our Very First Blog Post, Again

Are you watching Fuller House?  Do you get the reference?

fullerhouse

I do this, periodically.  Eventually, it’ll stick.  Maybe this time.  Definitely this time.

Time to dust the blog off.  Do it again.

Lose weight.  Recommit to a healthier life.  Follow through.

I read something yesterday that really stuck with me.

The reason 95% of diets fail is because 95% of people can’t stand even a little bit of discomfort.

So… here we are.  I’m at my almost-highest ever, and I HAVE to lose this weight.

I’m promising myself one thing: For the next month, no matter what happens… I am blogging every day.  I’m not saying I’ll blog every day for forever, but I’m at least doing it until the end of March.

Why the Ranger Project?  If you’re one of the very few reading this, then you probably know, but if not… I want to cosplay as this guy, and I refuse to do it fat.

powerrangers

Put up or shut up.  I get it.

I’m eating well.  I’m tracking calories using the FoodMover by Richard Simmons.  I’ll explain about that in the future, but it’s basically just a way to count calories without writing down everything I eat.

And mine, of course, is customized with Garbage Pail Kids stickers.

foodmover

This is going to be a random blog.  I’m probably not going to do a great job of building a brand, unless that brand is dorkiness with nostalgia.  And hey, maybe it is.

I’m probably also not going to be well-liked by everyone.  Because one thing that I will definitely address periodically is my extreme irritation and what I see as a horrific danger of the body positivity (a.k.a. fat acceptance) movement.  Tomorrow, my blog post is going to be about what I DO like about body positivity, because there are a few things.  (Not many, but a few.)

I’m typically going to do my weigh-in posts on Friday, but since this is technically the first, I have to start here.

February 29, 2016

Weight: 419.0

Change from Highest: –11.0 pounds

I will get to my goal weight.  I promise.

See you tomorrow!

Oh, and Happy Leap Day!

leapday

2016 Resolutions!

Back when this blog lived at Stellar Path, I tried to do resolutions on a few separate New Years.  Some I kept, some I didn’t.  I am going to plan for 2016 to be the biggest, best year of my life.  I’m doing four resolutions this year.  And I’m going to make sure I meet them by the end of the year by giving me a target for each resolution for each month.

In the past, I’ve done fuzzy “I want to be healthy” resolutions.  Not this year.  I’m doing numbers.  Feet to the fire.  Time to be accountable.

Finish my doctorate.

I am done with coursework for my doctorate in post-secondary leadership.  (If you’re wondering what this means, it is hopefully gearing me up to have an administrative career in higher education in the not-too-distant future.)  Now that the coursework is done, it’s time to finish the dissertation.  I should easily be able to meet this goal this year.  Here’s a little “stretch” goal: I want to be done by August.

Goal for the end of January: Complete (and pass) my qualifying exams and prospectus proposal.

Reduce debt by $20,000 this year.

This one is going to be tough.  We owe a lot of debt.  ($20,000 will make a dent, but not take care of it.)  And I do not anticipate a $20,000 raise this year, either.  This one will require more work.  Fortunately, I’m not afraid of hard work.  I’ve got some passive income coming in that I plan to ramp up, some freelance work on the horizon, and some other avenue sources.  I’m not going to divide this evenly by 12, and I’m starting off slow, because I don’t want to burn out.

Goal for the end of January: Reduce debt by $500.

Complete my young adult novel.

I enjoy writing for pleasure, and if I’m not careful, every spare second of my writing time this year will be dissertation.  I want to make sure I take some time to write for me.  It’s rejuvenating and enjoyable, and I have to make time for it.  I’ve got an idea that I love that I’ve been plotting out for a while, but it took a bit of a backseat this past semester.

Goal for the end of January: Finish plotting novel and write out two sections.

Lose 120 pounds.

This one is the biggie.  I came across this photo on my hard drive.  At left is me at around 330 pounds in 2008.  At right is me, this past Christmas at Disney, at around 415 pounds.  (Note: The “before” picture is just an exceptionally good photo of me.  I don’t think I looked this thin at that weight, but still… it gives me hope for the future, knowing this could be me again.  (And it also reminds me that I need to start dyeing my gray hair again.)

100_2499MK_MSATHCLB_7545372811

I’m going to do this with cardio, weight lifting, and calorie counting.  Eating healthy foods and exercising.  No tricks, no expenses.  Just the simple math of calories-in, calories-out.

Goal for the end of January: Get down to 403.

The Ranger Project

Welcome to The Ranger Project!

I’ve started and stopped, resurrected and forgotten, and just let this blog sit here and collect dust more times than I can count.

Or maybe eight times.  I can count to eight.

Either way, I wanted to put up this first post because I am going to try again.  Now that my school work is over (other than that pesky dissertation – more on that in a moment), I feel I can devote a few minutes a day to keeping this blog alive.

This blog is going to document a lot of things about my life.  You’ll learn a lot about me and my family and some of the things we want to accomplish.  I’ll be honest – the theme of this blog may be a bit different at times, so I completely understand if this isn’t your cup of tea.  On the other hand, if you like random things, this might be right up your alley!

RainTree Productions

This one refers specifically to my family life.  We have a fairly inactive YouTube Channel called RainTree Productions, so named because I have both Cherokee and Shawnee blood in my family tree and one of my closest Indian relatives had the last name Raintree.  We just thought it had a nice ring for our videos.

I’ll periodically post videos about our lives, what we do, what we like, our plans, et cetera. 

Disney

EPCOT_BACKSIDE1_7310818422

In the last year and a half, we have become huge Disney fanatics.  It happened when we took our son to Walt Disney World in May 2014 and he had a very literal and exciting language bump.  Our son is pretty much on track now, but he does have a bit of an articulation issue with his speech, and we discovered that every time he goes to Disney, he seems to have a bit of a speech explosion when he returns.  (It could potentially be not connected at all, but we cannot deny that we all have a great time at Disney World.)

We just got back a few days ago.  Seriously.  We love the place.

I’m not saying every vacation we ever take will be at Disney World, but we do want to get our debt paid off we can join the Disney Vacation Club and go once a year.

We have plans to do our kitchen in a Disney theme.  I’ll probably post about Disney once a month or so, just to keep the magic alive.

Disney is one of those things that people either love or hate.  Perhaps not surprisingly, I’ve found that a lot of people who hate Disney haven’t even gone.

All I can say is this – Walt Disney World truly is a magical place for my family, and I see us going many, many times for the rest of our lives.

Debt

Speaking of Disney and wanting to join the Disney Vacation Club, we have a fair amount of debt.  Nothing crippling, but more than I’d like, for sure.  Tina and I both have healthy student loan debt and we want to see this gone.  I’ll periodically post about how we’re living as frugal as we can (90% of the time, anyway – we do still go to Disney sometimes) to get this debt paid down quicker.

People like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman say that we should live like paupers to get our debt paid off.  I’m not entirely sure that’s smart.  I’d rather take a little longer to pay off our debt and actually enjoy my life.

Still, that doesn’t mean I’m not a big fan of avoiding needless expenses.  We don’t really eat out.  (We do get pizza every Monday night, but that’s because a local pizza parlor has a special with half-off pizza once a week.  We can get a thin crust cheese pizza for $5.29 that feeds all of us.  That seems like a decent deal, and it also has the added benefit of keeping us on track with avoiding eating out.)  I try to stretch the grocery budget as best I can.  We’re frugal, not tight.  Oh, and I’ve also found some painless ways to make a little money on the side, too, which I’ll talk about from time to time.

Cooking

We love food!  I love to cook, and I’m going to share my recipes and my interpretations of recipes on occasion.  We also have an Instant Pot which we love.  Granted, it is now the HOT kitchen appliance of the moment, but if you’ve ever used one, you’ll understand why.  It really is a great appliance.  One of my first recipes is going to be for my super-easy roast beef in the Instant Pot.

Weight Loss

I’m fat.  I’ve been fat for a long time.  I’ll write a longer blog post in the coming days about my weight loss efforts, but I’m going to weigh-in every Friday in 2016, starting with New Year’s Day.  I weigh over 400 pounds right now (around 415, last I checked), and I’m tired of being fat and unhealthy.

While I do plan for this blog to be a positive place, I may occasionally rail on the disturbing trend that now exists for some people to glorify obesity and promote bad health.  There are people out there (with audiences, sadly) who claim that it is impossible to lose weight (it’s not), that medical research says obesity is healthier than being normal weight (it’s laughably not), and that if we just eat ‘til we’re full our weight will settle where it’s supposed to (yet some who have made this claim have packed on the pounds since finding Health at Every Size).

So again, most of my weight loss talk will be about myself, but when studies come out that some of the elite trained researchers out there wildly misinterpret to suit their own needs, I’ll probably have to talk about it here.

The Ranger Project

So, why is this blog named what it is named?  Because I want to be a Power Ranger!

Seriously.  I want to lose weight so that I can get a movie suit and cosplay as the Blue Ranger.

600-power-rangers-movie

And I’m not doing it fat.

I hope you’ll stick with me.  I think this might be an interesting journey.

Whoops – I ate too much at snack time…

Tina and I are both doing the Fit Girl diet, Tina by the book and me slightly modifying it by incorporating more calories.  Tina is eating 1450 calories a day; since I’m a guy, I add about 500 extra calories.

Well, I messed up.  Willpower weakened this afternoon at work, and my eating plans for the day derailed.

Fortunately, they did not derail so much that they cannot be overcorrected.  Rather than eat one 140 calorie bag of chips, I ate three.

Ahem.  That’s too many.  So, I’m making up for that by eliminating the extra serving of protein I eat at dinner.

Is this the healthiest decision I could have made today?  Not by a long shot.  But I stuck to my diet.  Lose the battle, win the war.  That’s what I’m going for here.  And in strict calorie terms, I still won this battle.

Breakfast – frozen homemade ham and cheese burrito

Lunch – Almond butter and jelly sandwich, bag of chips

Mid-afternoon – 2 more bags of chips

Dinner – pumpkin lasagna rolls, apple

After-dinner snack – 1 hard-boiled egg, 60 calorie square of dark chocolate

We got this.

Oh, and the best part?  I lost seven pounds last week.

November 2, 2015

Weight: 416

Change from Last Week: –7.0 pounds

Change from All-Time Highest: –14.0 pounds

I feel like my week could have been better had I not splurged too much on my extra food at dinner.  I’m going to do my best to do better this week.

What I Ate Today

I don’t plan to do these regularly (I don’t think), but I will do them from time-to-time.  Maybe eventually these will morph into “A Day in the Life” style posts, but for now, this is what I ate today.  I’m pretty pleased with how on-track I’ve been since Tina has become a Fit Girl and is following their diet so religiously.  It just makes it easier for us to both eat better when we are both 100% bought in!

Before Church – 1 frozen, homemade, ham, egg, and cheese burrito (We made a big batch sometime ago and I’m working my way through them.)

After Church – spinach wrap chicken fajitas (leftovers from last night) with cheese and sour cream

Mid-afternoon – 1 piece of Halloween candy (a little Kit Kat – probably not worth it)

Dinner – Honey srirachi chicken and spinach pita pizza (we’ll post a recipe sometime – these are so amazingly good!)

After-dinner snack – 2 doughettes (roughly 90 calories each – made of oats, almond butter, and dark chocolate), 1 square of dark chocolate, 1 apple

I am super pleased with my diet today!  I could have eaten more veggies, but overall, a major improvement.

Our biggest victory?  Tina and I haven’t eaten out in over a week.  That is huge, both for our health and our debt.

And we also recorded a video for RainTree Productions today.

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