Friday, January 27, 2012

Just a little bit...

This week has been a bit frustrating with respect to diet and exercise. The scale gave me some kinda disappointing news and I felt like it had been a good week overall.

I came in pretty well under my daily goals for calories everyday. I even got on the bike for 45 - 60 minutes four times this week. And in the end, I saw very little movement on the scale:


Not even a pound. Ugh.

So I started looking for a reason. Well, actually, an excuse. I started thinking about how much sleep I've been getting (not much). I was thinking about how much I was on the bike (not enough). And even started down the path of thinking about how much fluid I must be retaining.

But when I pulled the data for the week from LiveStrong, I was faced with the real reason. And it's just like most times... the simplest thing is usually the answer.

Sprinkled throughout the data for each day are little servings of M&Ms, Mike & Ikes, and peanut M&Ms. But they don't contribute much to the daily totals and I still came in under the line, so what gives?

What gives is that I put in the 1/2 of a serving of candy when i first reached my hand in the bag and pulled out 10 pieces. But I didn't record the next 3 pieces.. or the 5 pieces I got fifteen minutes later... or the other 8 pieces right after dinner...

The point is, I justified not putting all those in because they were so small. But in the end, I didn't have 100 calories of Mike & Ike's that day. I had more like 300 or more by eating 30 calories at a time....

Again, ugh.

I know better than this. I've fought it before. Many times before. And it's time to get serious about it again if I really want to make progress.

What sorts of little things creep in and derail your progress?

Photo credit to Jenn and Tony Bot. (Definitely check out their photos over on flickr... Awesome stuff)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Taking Note

As I have been working on getting back on track in my Quest for 200, I realized that one absolutely key aspect of my previous successes in losing weight was zealously tracking what I ate. And I mean everything that I ate. As some of you know (and have heard me talk about way more than you wanted to hear...), I've been using to do this tracking.

I credit the time last year where I was gaining the weight back, in part, to not being habitual and brutally honest about taking note of my eating. So, as this year starts, I have been reflecting on how it is easy to observe things but often hard to take it all in. What does that mean? Well, for me, it means that I was always aware of what I was eating at the time but, without keeping track of it, I could easily "forget" about it later. This led to rationalizing each time I went to the fridge, or the drive-thru, with things like "It's just this one time" or "It's only a litte bit - it won't hurt me."

That's why I got back on the wagon with tracking everything, everyday in LiveStrong. It's also why I paid attention to something I was seeing among friends and others. Keeping a notebook or journal regularly. I've never been big on journalling (or really writing as the faithful readers here can attest....) so I was more interested in the pocket notebook idea. The idea being that you carry something to write on (and write with) that is easy enough to fit into a pocket. This way it is accessible and ready for you to scribble notes, ideas, sketchs, thoughts, whatever no matter where you are.

I chose to get a couple of small note books from the Field Notes line. Specifically, the County Fair 3 pack for my home state of South Carolina (picture at the top of the post.) I've been using it for almost 2 weeks and I love it. I'm amazed at all the things that I write down that I otherwise might have a) missed completely, or b) not recalled later on.

Now some of what I write down is not what you might call "important." But some of it is. And all of it, in some way, allows me to keep track of not just the past, but of the here and now. To quote the makers of Field Notes:
I'm not writing it down to remember it later, I'm writing it down to remember it now.
 So, in the vein of keeping track of things, here is the number for this week:


Not a lot, but a little keeps adding up. I'll take it.

Here is the link to the data for Week 2: Week 2 LiveStrong Data

I got another supporter for the Love146 and TWLOHA causes this past week. That gives us $4 per pound lost ($2 for each cause) for a total so far of $12. Again, it doesn't look like a lot but the little keeps adding up.

It will add up faster if more people can add their "little" to it. If you want to help out either of these wonderful organizations (or both) please let me know and I can add you to the donor pool. Drop me a comment below or contact me through email, twitter (@scbubba), or facebook (

Friday, January 13, 2012

Something bigger than you

I hold the belief that it can't be all about me. Some part of what I do each day/week/month should be devoted to something bigger than just me, and even my family. I don't mean just helping another person, although I definitely think we should do that too.

I'm talking about finding something that matters to you but doesn't directly benefit you. All of the efforts are directed at making things better for people somehow. And do it for the long haul and not for just a few days or weeks.

I'm not trying to tell you what you should do or who you should help. Just giving you my thoughts on it.

Working to rescue victims of human trafficking and trying to end it is no small task and won't happen just because some people feel bad about it. It takes commitment and action. As many of you know, I've been a supporter of Love146 for a couple of years. Mainly through financial contributions and more recently by getting involved in trying to form a Task Force in my local area.

I'm doing this because I believe that Love146 and the work they are doing can make this world a better place in some small (and hopefully one day a very big) way.

I have also become a supporter for an organization called To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA). The story behind TWOLHA is very compelling and recommend you go read it yourself here (I'll wait....)

I tell you all of this so you will, hopefully, join me in trying to help folks who help make the world better. My quest is to lose at least 48 lbs this year. I'm pledging $2 per pound lost, $1 to each of these organizations. So, if I hit my goal Love146 will get $48 and TWLOHA will also get $48.

It doesn't sound like a lot and, honestly, I know it isn't. That's why I would like to ask you to also make a pledge of some sort to help out one or both of these fine groups. Any pledge amount is awesome. Last time, several folks pledged $1 per pound and a few made lump sum pledges. All in all, this community raised around $1400 for Love146.

I think we can do something like this again but not without your help. Let me know in the comments below, or on Facebook, or Twitter. Or any other means you can think of...

So, how was the first week on the Quest for 200? Let's take a look at the numbers....


That's about 2.5 lbs for the week. Better than I was expecting but not all together surprising. In the past, the 1st week or two always seem to have better than average results and then things settled into the slow and steady...

Several folks have said they were interested in using Livestrong like I do and wanted to know what I did/ate to get results. Since Livestrong lets me produce a report of my "diary" for the day or week, I'm going to be putting a link up with each weekly post for those that are interested in the data.

Here is the Week 1 data.

Thank again for following along and I hope that you will strongly consider donating to one of both of these great causes.

Photo credit to dixieroadrash

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Quest for 200

Alrighty then, let's get this thing started.

In the spirit of 80-60-40 and 210 in 2010, I'm kicking of "The Quest for 200" this year. What is that, you ask? (Let's pretend you asked that...)

It's my goal to get things back under control with respect to my weight and health. 2011 wasn't the best year for either of these areas as you can see from how it started to how it ended....

I want to be done with excuses and stop leaving so much to chance and circumstance. I was so successful the first time (in losing 105lbs) because I made S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-boxed) and then made the conscious choice each day to work towards them.

Sounds easy and hard at the same time. Well, it is.... But I made the decision that I like the future me as much as or even a little more than the current me. So I'm going to do what I can to make sure future me is getting the best opportunities.


Think about it this way, if you knew that your actions/choices had a direct effect on someone else's life, how would you decide on what to do? Would it be any different than if you thought that the things you choose today wouldn't affect anyone?

Seriously, if the things you chose to eat meant that your wife/child/parent/sibling/friend could have medical problems or a lesser quality of life, would you make different choices? I definitely would consider my choices carefully.

And if I would look at it differently for other folks, why not for "future me"... Isn't the guy I'm going to be in 12 months (aka, future me) an important person in my life? Shouldn't I consider what my choices would do to that poor guy?

Ok, maybe this doesn't resonate with you, but it does with me. And I've been seriously neglecting "future me" in several areas. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty ticked off at "a year ago me" for what's he has done to me... :-)

So, here we go. I'm on a quest to to get below 200 lbs by the end of this year (2012) so the "me" in January 2013 will have better things in front of him (i.e., me).

I've met the criteria for S.M.A.R.T. goals with the Quest for 200. But my experience has shown that it isn't enough for me in this arena. I need to add accountability to the mix to be successful with this (no clue if I should make a new acronym or not...) So I'm going to be putting weekly posts up here with my progress so far. That means a weekly weigh-in with the numbers going on the blog.

I haven't decided on whether or not to tie this in with fund raising for either or TWLOHA (two incredible organizations that work on causes near and dear to my heart), but I'm open to any suggestions from y'all (aka, my 3 loyal readers).

Here we go with this week's weigh-in:


That's 31 lbs above where I ended 2010. Not something I like or am proud of but it is reality at the moment.

I would love to hear about your goals this year and/or how you deal with reaching goals that take a while. What are you trying to achieve this year?

Photo credit to brianjmatis.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Second Chances...

Another year. One whole year gone by....

Amazing what kinds of things can happen, or not happen, in a year.

The last time I posted here, I had grand designs on 2011 and all that I would achieve. I was heady with the successes of my weight loss and charity fund raising. I was tearing it up. And I was gonna keep going...

Let's just say that 2011 was NOT a year of achieving my fitness and health goals. Not only did I not do the Cooper River Bridge Run, but I pretty much dropped out of running all together for the majority of the year. I allowed an aggravation (stress fracture of my foot) to become an excuse that lasted long after I had healed.

As for the USMC PFT, I started the pull-up workout by purchasing a bar that works in a doorway. I got it assembled and hung it up. Beyond that, not much there. No real progress on the sit-ups or push-ups either.

And then, to top it all off, I bailed out of the LiveStrong approach to losing weight that had been so successful for me before. In about March, I read "The 4 Hour Body" and liked the look of what it had in there about weight loss and muscle gain. I did pretty well for about 6 to 8 weeks with it and then found ways to "cheat" the program. Of course, I was only cheating myself....

By Thanksgiving 2011, I had gone from a low of 216 lbs (around Christmas 2010) to right at 240 lbs. Not the right direction....

So what does it mean now? It means I lost focus and need to get it back. My goal is still to get below 200 lbs. I'm targeting the end of 2012 for that. I should be able to average less than a pound a week to make that. I'm setting up my LiveStong account to count calories as if I was going to do 1.5 lbs per week to see how that works for a couple of months.

I'm disappointed in myself and I know that these set backs are not permanent. They don't define who I am or what I can do. I see my successes in the past and know what I am capable of.

So, as I start of 2012, I'm taking a second chance. We all get them. We don't all give them. And many of us won't take them.....

How was your 2011? Do you need to take a second chance?

Logo/image credit to