The Death of Pudgy Delusion

For most of my life, I’ve had ‘issues’ with my weight and body shape. When I was 10 or 11, I could (and did) eat as much as I liked, and never gained a pound. It probably helped that I ran, jumped, skipped or bounded wherever I needed to go. Some time around my twelfth birthday, this golden age came to an end, and I began to accrue fat and pounds.

When I joined the Army as a flabby 198-pound twenty-year-old, the kindly folks at Fort Leonard Wood helped me to embark on a crash diet (they called it ‘Basic Training’). Burning upwards of 6000 calories a day while eating whatever morsels I could snatch in 60-second meals, helped me to a loss of 35 pounds in a matter of twelve weeks.

Entering my calories
Can I afford the calories today, for a cup of Caramel Caribou?

During my three-year enlistment, I managed to stay on the right side of the weight and fitness limits, so (in spite of a knee injury) I was still reasonably fit and under 190 lbs. when I returned to college. By the time I graduated from college, I had bulked up to about 215 pounds, some of it muscle from a regimen of weight lifting and occasional jogging. Life as a programmer doesn’t sustain much muscle; even so, I’ve somehow managed to stay in the 225-245 range for the past 16 years.

As long as I can remember, I’ve believed I was ‘pudgy’. Oh, I knew in my head that this was a delusion, but I still believed it. I carefully suck in my stomach and flex whenever I stand in front of a mirror, raising my eyebrows to make my face look thinner. I avoid looking at my profile as reflected in store windows or bathroom mirrors. I wear tall, baggy shirts so they don’t become un-tucked and reveal my belly.

Even so, I know that pretty much any nutritionist or physician would consult the charts for a man of my age and height and weight and conclude, “Dude, your body-mass index is 33 — you’re past ‘overweight‘ — you’re obese!”

I don’t talk to those kind of nutritionists or physicians, especially not those who would call me ‘Dude’. They’re usually young and skinny, anyway.

Body Mass Index
Not my actual body mass index chart. I’m 5′ 11″, and, um, weigh quite a bit more than 157 pounds.

Last Monday evening, I ate a big supper, and followed it up with a slice of cherry pie, a huge chocolate-chip cookie, about a half-pound of pistachios, and several large handfuls of M&M’s. As I lay reading, on my side in bed, I felt sick and bloated. Suddenly, I noticed something large, pushing down on the bed. It was as though one of my children had sat on the bed beside me.

In a sickening rush of comprehension, I realized: it was my belly.

Even now, six days later, it is unpleasant to talk about this subject. All these years, I had convinced myself that I was merely ‘plump’ or ‘pudgy’, but now I could no longer avoid the ugly truth: I am fat.

A sample belly profile
Not my actual belly. Sorry for those of you now requiring therapy.

I mulled it over in my mind all day on Tuesday, while Kathy and I drove back from Oregon. I skipped breakfast that day to alleviate the immediate feeling of being over-stuffed, but I wasn’t able to shake the memory of my belly, almost pregnant in its shape. By Tuesday night, a determination to make a change crystallized in my head, forged in the fires of self-revulsion and (as I later discovered), Kathy’s prayers. It turns out that Kathy has been praying for the last couple of weeks (years?), for me to take seriously my responsibility to look after my physical health. The andarine is great for weight loss (cutting cycles) and increasing bone density and bone tissue. Indeed, when used, Andarine S4 increases body fat oxidation but decreases lipoprotein lipase. Thus, Andarine can help us achieve that hard look we want our muscles to have since it decreases body fat. But we won’t feel bloated or horrible about ourselves since the SARM doesn’t increase water retention! Its effect on the bones also means that individuals struggling with osteoporosis can also benefit hugely here. In the first place, it might be helpful to understand what we are talking, when we talk about euphoria at all. This is a very specific type of joy and excitement. It is not simply an energy boost, although kratom is often used for providing such. This is one area where green borneo kratom is very popular. The strain has an excellent reputation for dealing with different kinds of pain, ranging from bones, muscles to joint aches. It is also used to treat the day to day pain issues such as headaches and migraines while other people use it for vertigo. After all, it is indeed a member of the coffee family. At the same time, it can produce a positive overall feeling far beyond what you might get from a normal cup of joe.The biological potential of kratom to induce genuine euphoria is indeed real. At this point, you are now in the best position possible to learn more about the most euphoric kratom. You can try these out for finding the best kratom to buy.

As it happens, I have an in-house expert consultant, well-experienced in self-discipline and nutrition. Kathy helped me to resurrect my profile on Fit Day and lent me her considerable expertise in low-calorie and low-fat food selection and measurement. I spent the first day eating ‘normally’, but recording each calorie, to see if’s estimate of my caloric consumption was accurate. It was a bit chilling to realize that I routinely consume between 3500 and 4000 calories a day, when eating without restraint or accountability.

Skinny Kathy
Kathy has kept her 60+ pound weight loss off for almost four years, now.

On Thursday I set my goal: I’m seeking to lose a pound a week, and to get down to my late-college weight of 210 pounds, from my current weight of 238 pounds. To accomplish this by late May, I’ll need to ensure that my caloric consumption is at least 500 calories less, each day, than what I burn. So far, so good; the nice folks at Fit Day can help with all that.

Average caloric consumption
My average consumption vs. what they think I burn

The main problem is this: how will I keep recording and limiting my caloric consumption each day, over the long haul? This is certainly not the first time I have dieted, and yet for more than 16 years I’ve made no significant change to my weight, except for a briefly successful flirtation with Kathy’s Maniacal Eating Plan (the KMEP), or the time I dropped 20 pounds on the Bronchitis Diet.

I really don’t want to add another chapter to my self-deprecating autobiography, The Many Failures of Tim the Quitter, 1965 – 20??; already my publisher is hinting that a work of this size should best be broken up into a trilogy. What will make this effort different? Where can I, as a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ, get the kind of power I would need to resist temptation of the flesh and to succeed at a pursuit involving one of the fruit (fruits?) of the Spirit, self-control?

Think, think, think (I do my Winnie-the-Pooh impression). A light bulb goes on: the Holy Spirit indwells me for just this kind of purpose!

Um … wait just a minute. The Holy Spirit has been indwelling me for all these years, and yet I have repeatedly failed. There must be something else, some way to activate the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, some way to ensure that I attempt things not in my own strength, but in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Think, think, think.

Another light bulb goes on: Prayer!

And so we come to the reason for this blog, apart from sickening self-revelation: I need some of you to pray for me on a regular, ongoing, long-term basis. Please pray that I will be faithful and disciplined in decreasing my caloric intake and increasing my activity. Pray that I will not grow weary of exercising self-control, and that I can establish some habits in this area that will translate to a long-term maintenance of a lower weight. Pray that I will not become discouraged, and find some reason to quit.

I have a group of people for whom I pray every* day, using 4×6 cards to remind me of specific concerns. If you will commit to praying for me at least 4 times a week, I’ll add you to my deck o’ prayer cards, and I’ll pray for you at least six times a week. And if you’re already on one of my cards, then perhaps you owe me. :)

As Kathy and I do with our budgeting, I’ll be reporting on my progress from time to time on this blog. You can also track my caloric intake and weight loss (assuming there is some) on my public FitDay profile.

My weight loss so far
I was able to lose 4 pounds right away, by the happy expedient of weighing with my clothes off and before breakfast.

Comments are welcome, but prayer, interceding on my behalf, is very welcome. I already know much more about weight loss and healthy living than I am putting to use; that said, please feel free to share your wisdom on this topic.


*every = at least six days a week

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Commercial Time

In November it seems the rain comes and goes only to come again. When the clouds lift and the sun attempts to shine, I send the children packing. I mean out playing.

Hi Sarah!

Sarah loves playing outside, especially when she can chase her 3 brothers.

I spent a good portion of the Saturday evening looking for clips of old commercials. I’m teaching a Financial Peace class for high schoolers at our homeschool co-op. We studied consumer awareness this week, and I thought it would be interesting to watch a series of commercials in our next class period.

The boys are preparing for their own commercial.

Unfortunately, as Joshua observed, commercial viewing is kind of like eating junk food -

A little bit goes a long way.
While flavorful, there’s nothing of real substance.
It’s tasty/fun at first, but eventually makes you sick.

It’s been much more difficult than I thought to come up with a list of classic commercials. Come on, what are the ad campaigns that have stuck with you over the years? I need help generating a list.

“Where’s the Beef?”
“Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand”
“I’m a Pepper, You’re a Pepper”
Mac vs PC
Doublemint Twins
Nike – Just Do It
“This is your brain on drugs!”
“Trix Are for Kids”

The boys are reporting for duty.

Joshua, David and Daniel boys are advertising, um, sticks. Right.

What else? Do you have favorite commercials that you remember? Our class is going to study marketing strategies and effective advertising techniques. Since we don’t have a tv in our house, and haven’t since Tim and I were married, I am a bit handicapped in this area.

Based on my research thus far, I can say there are an awful lot of beer commercials, and many ads I would be embarrassed for my children to see. Oh, I also found some of the most emotional commercials come from a Thai insurance agency. Weird.

You can save me hours of youtube research by sharing with me some of your favorite (family friendly) commercials. I’ll take jingles and slogans as well. Think of it as one way you can help out a busy homeschooling mom.


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Happy November!

I can’t help it, I love the holidays. The fall/winter is often rainy and gray here in Washington, but the holidays act like a glorious paintbrush, covering everything with color and an extra touch of joy.

See, I am overcome with poetic rambling. Not very good poetic rambling, but somebody has to ramble, and it’s obviously going to me. Or should that be “I”?

cute trick or treaters

Some of my favorite Halloween/Harvest Carnival kids!

Totally random segue into the topic of shoes. Have you ever stopped to think about the amount of shoes a family with five children has in their closets, hallways and garage corners? I bet I could find half the shoes on shoe hero in my house.

Let’s be conservative (in a very non-political way) and name 4 types of possible shoes a person could own:

Dress shoes
Tennis shoes

Without taking into consideration slippers, snow and rain boots, and the fact that girls are INCAPABLE of having simply one or two pairs of “these are so cute, Mom, I have to have them” shoes, that puts our family at 20 pairs of shoes.

And that’s just the children.

candy runner Dan

What kind of shoes would THIS fellow wear?

Here’s a better look at the Candy Running Army Man.

Shoes are on my mind because it’s been raining the last few days, and promises to continue doing so for another week. As I searched the garage shoe bin this afternoon I realized only one of the five children has rain boots.

Did I mention they are about to pay a little visit to their grandparents’ house?

Grandparents who live out in the country.

Where there are no sidewalks but plenty of puddles.

So, yes, along with the joy of the approaching holidays, I also sense a shoe shopping expedition in our future. Of course, mentioning a shoe store in the children’s presence almost always elicits an immediate response from at least one child:

“Mom, I forgot to tell you:

  • my Sunday shoes are too small,
  • my tennis shoes have a hole in the toe,
  • and I need a pair of (insert adjective here) shoes for my (such and such) class/sport/event.

don't take these two shopping!

Bethany and Rachel could definitely pick out some cute shoes.

It’s enough to make a girl scream!

Or go shopping. I’ve got my eye on this really cute pair of pink and brown rain boots. What do you think? More importantly, where do you store all the shoes??

gotta have them


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