Happy 39th Birthday to me!

Today, I turned 39 years old.

I have one year left until I am 40.

And I plan for the next year to be amazing.  I have no doubt that I will enter 40 in better health, wealth, and everything.

I’ve lost 32 pounds in the past twelve weeks.  For the first time since 2012, I am entering a birthday weighing UNDER 400 pounds.  On my scale at home this morning, I was 398.

That’s a good feeling, both mentally and physically.  Have you ever carried around 32 pounds all day long?  It’d be tiring, but I was doing it.

I’ve got a lot more to lose, but I am confident I will do it.

I am making a few resolutions that I will do my best to reach this year.  I’ll update my progress monthly(ish) to see how I do!

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  1. I will lost 100 more pounds by my 40th birthday.  On April 19, 2018, I want to weigh 298 or lower.
  2. I will create 39 works of art (oil painting, stained glass, watercolors, something) that I will give away.  I’ll post about that in more depth in a bit when I have my first piece of art to give away.  My reason?  I just want to put some of my creativity out into the world.
  3. I will finish writing this young adult novel that is following me around.  I love to write, but I don’t do it as often as I should.  I’m done with my dissertation; I have no excuses now.
  4. I will send 39 letters out in The Mail Project, and I’ll post about everything I get back in return.  I’ll share about this one, too, as soon as I’ve officially started it.
  5. I’ll read 39 books that I’ve been planning to read and blog about them.  I’ll probably blog about these on my work blog, but I’ll share here, too.

That’s it.  There’s a part of me that wants to do 39 resolutions, but I’d just be making up crap at that point to reach 39. 

I owe you a weight loss post soon, because I have had a successful semester at Weight Watchers!  I blog as it occurs to me, which is admittedly not often.  I’d love it if you’d follow me on Instagram at therangerproject.  I’m much more active there!

Story #01

I love to write.  I have been writing pretty much since I have been able to read stories.

For the past three years, I’ve been working on my doctorate.  I spent several months this year writing my dissertation.  Cranking out 187 pages about the impact of a literacy intervention course can take it out of you.  It wears out the writing muscle, but it doesn’t satisfy the need to write.

Fortunately, now, I am done with schoolwork.  (Well, my doctorate at least.  C’mon, I get free tuition!  I’m working on a graduate certificate in measurement, evaluation, and research.)  But the writing itch is back, and this time, I’m satisfying it with fiction.

I graduated in the summer, and I took an undergraduate course this fall just for the heck of it.  (Two, actually.  One was Supernatural Folklore – greatest class ever.)  The other class (also greatest class ever) was Psychology in Science Fiction.  It really woke up my desire to do some science fiction writing, and I have decided to marry my love of writing with my desire to lose weight.

I’m going to write a science fiction short story about the different emotions, experiences, thoughts, and whatevers about losing weight.  I’m also going to pursue publication of these.  Now, it remains to be seen if I am good enough to be published,  I suppose, but if I don’t try, then I’ll never be published.

My first story, still untitled, is about the stress of experience massive weight gain after a massive weight loss.  After all… this was me at one point.

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This is me at about 320.  This is also an exceptionally good photo, because 320 is by no means an acceptable weight.  (I’m 6’0”, not 8’2”.)

This is me in the present (well, at Halloween) at 425 pounds.

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This was me a few weeks ago at my hooding ceremony on the night before graduation.  (Before the actual hooding ceremony, so I’m just wearing my wizard robes here.)

grad family

There are a lot of emotions that I have to deal with.  Embarrassment.  Shame.  Anger.

So I’m writing a story, set in the future, about a man named Marshall who is going through the same thing.  With a sci-fi twist, of course.

I’m about 1500 words into the short story right now.  As previously mentioned, I’m going to pursue publication, which means I won’t be sharing the stories I write here UNTIL I have amassed 20 rejections per story.  Of course, if I am lucky enough to get published, I’ll certainly share where to find the story, but if not, it’ll take 20 rounds of rejections before I share it here.

This is something new I’m trying to keep me motivated.  I’ll continue to share my progress, both in weight loss and writing.

See you on Friday with our 1st weekly weigh-in!

Suck It, Biggest Loser Weight Loss Study

Last week, an article about the futility of losing weight, based on a sample of 14 contestants from The Biggest Loser, circulated the internet.

I saw three responses.

  1. Crap.  I hope that’s not true.
  2. Heck yeah!  Weight loss is impossible!  Fat acceptance, baby!  Be fat and happy!  You can’ t change it anyway!
  3. Wow.  That’s a remarkably flawed study.  I hope someone addresses this.

Fortunately, several people far smarter than me HAVE addressed it, and yes, the study is both horribly flawed, paints the wrong picture, and isn’t 100% the whole story.

That’s good news.

I read several Fat Acceptance/Body Positivity/HAES bloggers post about how this was confirmation of both their lifestyle choices and the “5% of dieters is all that can ever lose weight” myth.  (Did you know that only 4% of smokers successful quit for good?  Something to think about.)

This article is a nice summary of what is wrong with it and, for those of us who want to lose weight, proof that it can be done without being miserable for the rest of our lives.  It’s a fluff piece, but so is the New York Times.  As soon as I’ve read some hard science on the topic, I’ll post about it here.

Oh, and one last thing…

If someone COULD operate metabolically at far fewer calories than someone else, that’s like a freaking X-Men superpower.  It’s only a problem in today’s world of $1 cheeseburgers and convenience food.

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.