Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Weight Loss Journal, Entry number one

Okay, it is a little comical to keep writing these "Nothing can stop me now" posts, only to log back in 6 months later and have to admit I've actually gained weight! I think I was 253 when I last posted six months ago, and I'm about 268 now. Up 15. At last year's physical, I was 248, which means I am up 20. So, if one definition of "insanity" is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, then I am afraid I'm a nut job.

Oh well.

So what can I do differently? Eat three moderate meals and three small snacks and nothing in between? Hmm, not exactly rocket science. What else? Go to OA meetings? A possibility. Walk daily? Sure. Um. There, that's a plan.

And...drum roll, please...document the entire thing in this blog. Seriously. If writing is helpful (one of the OA "tools," then writing a blog that might be helpful to others has got to be helpful too. So this is entry number one. More soon. :-)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Road to 208

It's been a little over a year since the last post here. I've posted a bunch at my other kazillion blogs, but Back to the Well has had a dry spell. Well, all that's about to change...

I weight 253. It's time to get this weight loss thing over with once and for all. I have more important things to do in the next 30 years than to obsess about eating, weight and exercise.

So what's the plan? I've had dozens of plans over the years; I've lost and regained hundreds of pounds. What sort of paradigm shift will make all the past plans and plots obsolete? Like the gunfighters I write about, I'll try to sort this out with bullets. :-)

The goal and plan is as follows:

  • Get down to 208 or below, the weight I'd be required to maintain if I were in the Marine Corps.
  • Find the right exercise(s) that I enjoy and that fit into my lifestyle, and exercise regularly.
  • Move toward a low-fat, vegetarian diet. Maybe I'll be strict, or maybe I'll do turkey, chicken and fish.
    We'll see.
  • Lose the next 20 fairly quickly, as these pose an immediate risk to my health.
  • Shoot to weigh 233 in 10 weeks or less (i.e, by or before Sept 17.
  • Lift and sculpt, but not at the expense of cardio and consistent weight loss.
That's pretty straightforward, don't you think? What are some of the possible exercise options?
  • Walking.
  • Cardio machines and weights at Fitness One.
  • Cardio machines and weights with Josh at Planet Fitness.
  • Dumbbells in the basement.
  • Tennis or basketball?
  • Synchronized swimming.... :-)
I'll work on that part. More later.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Okay, so this is not exactly diet and exercise-related, but I have to share with you that my first novel -- a western titled A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S GUNFIGHT -- is coming out this summer! I have written I don't know how many words in my half century of roaming this planet, I have published hoards of short stories and been included in a number of collections and anthologies, but this feel big.

My first published novel.

There is an interesting little tie-in to the true point of this blog. When I moved to Nashville a quarter century ago, I had reached the ever-elusive "goal weight" of 200 pounds (198 to be exact). When I hit town, lean and mean, everything seemed to fall into place. Withing a month, I had gotten into the top music publishers, I had been the subject of an Associated Press story about the next up-and-coming songwriter, I had purchased my first cowboy boots -- from Garth Brooks -- and I had arrived.

So let me be clear: I do not believe nor support the thinking that "once I get to my perfect weight, my life, too, will be perfect." But for me, being at my healthy weight made me feel better. Physically and psychologically. My blood pressure went down, my cholesterol went down, I had more energy, I slept more soundly.

To quote Martha Stewart, it was a good thing.

So now, as my first novel is about to get published, I am once again approaching my healthy weight. My highest has been 282. For years now, I have gone up and down between 275 and 260. Now I am in the low 240s and will soon see the 230s for the first time in 5 years. Even that was short-lived, though. The last time I was in the 230s for any significant length of time was back around the time Josh was born. And he is now 16.

So I will continue to slowly but surely get healthier...just in time to promote my FIRST PUBLISHED NOVEL, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S GUNFIGHT!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Okay, let's be real: no, that is not my arm. But let's not be disparaging. The guy in the picture is obviously working hard, and if he keeps it up, someday his arm will undoubtedly be as large as mine.

My thigh, that is.

I am shooting for 245 by May 30. I am about five pounds away. My more astute readers will realize this means I haven't really lost anything since the conclusion of my LAST bet. Not true! I have lost the five pounds I immediately gained back since the conclusion of my last bet and the commencement of this one.

Enough math. The burning questions is this: how am I going to pull off losing five pounds in four days?

First, let's discuss the buffer. I learned from the last bet that if I throw on the sweats and do one hour on the eliptical in the cardio zone I can sweat off four pounds. But I have also learned that a crisis at work can easily prevent me from getting to the gym in the morning, so I can't bank on that. I need a legitimate strategy.

Here are the "silver" bullets:
  • Write everything down 
  • Eat only 39 WW points
  • Drink, drink, drink -- water, not wine
  • Move, move, move -- walk, cut the yard, go up and down the stairs
  • Play ultimate with the kids
  • Hit the speedbag
I think I need to plan to rev the metabolism every two hours (on the even hours) for at least 10 minutes. And drink one cup of water or tea.. Okay, then, two more bullets:

Every two hours (on the even hours):
  • Do 10 minutes brisk activity
  • Drink 8 ounces of water or tea
Okay, so that sounds like a plan, then. I'll update this -- probably, maybe -- throughout the weekend to keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Major Milestone: I am down to 1/8 of a ton

I haven't blogged on Back to the Well, in...well, ten months. But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy.

For the first time in five years I am back down to 250 pounds. How did I do it? Writing down everything I eat and tracking Weight Watcher points. Like Charles Barkley. Also walking and doing the eliptical.

What's next? First, 240. Then 230. After that, 220. Then 210. My ultimate goal is 208, the highest weight allowed by the Marine Corps for a man of my height and age. Why 208? That's a long story. I'll save it for another time.

So here's the plan:
  • Write everything in the food journal
  • Have 38 points a day
  • Walk, run, lift with high reps
I'll write something more entertaining next time. For now, get ready to go out and buy my new novel, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S GUNFIGHT, coming out in May. I'll write more about that too.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

270 to 220: Getting Back Down to Fighting Weight

Here goes.

Starting tomorrow, June 29, I am beginning my comeback. I'm sure I've written about this somewhere, but I'll go ahead and do it again. Here are the milestones through the years:
  • 180 -- Sophmore year at Cornell (1982)
  • 198 -- Summer I left for Nashville (1986)
  • 228 -- Working at Saturn after Josh was born (1995)
  • 230 -- Moved to Houston (2004)
  • 240 -- Diet bet at Biogen Idec (2006)
  • 259 -- Lowest weight, reached several times, in last 3 years
  • 270 -- Current weight
  • 282 -- Highest weight ever
Here's the plan:
  • 1800-2100 calories/day
  • Roadwork 5 times/week
I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lean, Mean...Softserve Machine?

Two sixty-eight.

For the past two or three years I have been in a rut. On the high end of the rut is 270, the low end 260. I work out and diet and sweat and run away from ice cream, and I slowly and painful drop to 260. I relax, even a little, eat a second (or third or fourth) slice of pizza, break off half a cannoli (and then a quarter and then an eighth, before repeating the process with a second or third cannoli) and before I know it I am once again knocking on the door of 270.

I've been lifting (see "Pumping Iron -- The Musical") which, in addition to a constantly aching right shoulder, has given me a little of my musculature back, but the fact remains: some guys have a six-pack, but I've still got a pony keg.

I have to bite the bullet and go cardio. Walking is actually very effective for me. I walk 30 or more minutes a day, and the number on the digital scale starts to fall. Eliptical, treadmill and other gym machine cardio is good, but it bores me out of my freakin' mind. I like jumping rope -- and have a zillion different kinds -- so that's good. I love P90x, but can't find the DVDs. (They're somewhere, I know it.) I like working outside, and I have always been fond of good, old-fashioned, Marine Corps calisthenics. So I have a lot of options.

What I need is a plan.

Okay, then. Here's the plan that begins from this moment on:

  • 30 min. morning roadwork (walk/run) or ropework AND/OR

  • 30 min. lunchtime cardio (eliptical/class/etc.) AND/OR

  • 30 min. evening walk/run/calistenics.

At minimum, I will do 30 min. of SOMETHING everyday. If I miss the morning, I shoot for lunch. If lunch doesn't materialize, then it has to happen when I get home. In short, I can't go to sleep until I've done my 30 min. NO EXCEPTIONS.

It is June 20, so I will shoot to weigh 250 (loss of 18 pounds) by August 30.

Motivational comments welcomed!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pumping Iron -- The Musical

My new philosophy of fitness can best be summed up by quoting Apollo Creed's former trainer, Duke, talking to Rocky in the sixth and final installment of that franchise:

"To beat this guy, you need speed - you don't have it. And your knees can't take the pounding, so hard running is out. And you got arthritis in your neck, and you've got calcium deposits on most of your joints, so sparring is out. So, what we'll be calling on is good ol' fashion blunt force trauma. Horsepower. Heavy-duty, cast-iron, piledriving punches that will have to hurt so much they'll rattle his ancestors. Every time you hit him with a shot, it's gotta feel like he tried kissing the express train. Yeah! Let's start building some hurtin' bombs!"

I don't like running. The treadmill and eliptical are boring. What I have always liked, though, is picking things up and putting them down.

So I've been lifting weights. It's a challenge, given my shoddy rotator cuffs, but I have to say, it's fun. I used to be strong. Real strong. And now, slowly but surely, I can feel it coming back.

I just bought a used copy of Joe Weider's Ultimate Bodybuilding. It's great because it lays out some simple plans and principles to follow. So I guess I'll fool around with this for a while.

Anyway, time to fix me a protein shake and flex in the mirror. :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"I Used to be Fat"

Have you ever seen that show on MTV, I Used to Be Fat? I am not usually a fan of the extreme weight loss reality shows (like Biggest Loser), since people who lose weight and keep it off typically lose 1-2 pounds a week -- as opposed to 90 pounds is 100 days. But something about this show reminds me of the single-minded determination I used be able to muster.

My plan is to get to 211. I weighed 266 at the end of 2010, so that means I need to lose 55 pounds. Now I could go on I Used to Be Fat and lose it in a month and a half, but I'm thinking I'll take it a little more leisurely than that.

I will eat 2400 calories a day--600 calories for each of the three thirds of the day: 6-12, 12-6, 6-bedtime. I'll do the 100 Pushups plan and cardio on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and I'll lift weights Tuesday and Thursday.

I'll divide it into three phases:
  • Phase One will be from 266-250.
  • Phase Two will be from 250-225.
  • Phase Three will be from 225-211.

I'll write about each phase once I figure out what each will entail. :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

$500 for 5K

Okay, forget everything I said about bets being bad.

Bets, good.

My younger sister Rosina L. Hunt, Esq., a successful Rhode Island lawyer and ultracompetitive sibling like myself, has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged me to a race. In October, we are running in the Run for Bob in Franklin, Tenn., sponsored by the Hockamock YMCA.

Because she's a woman, she insisted I give her the same time differential that the Marine Corps gives women: three minutes. So if a man has to finish the race in 30 minutes, a woman has 33. To get a perfect score on the running portion of the fitness test, a man has to do three miles in 18 minutes, and a woman has to do it in 21:00. Can't argue with that. If it's okay with the Marine Corps, it's okay with me.

I've been trying to follow the Couch to 5K program at Its a three-day-a-week, walk/run program that is definitely doable. Not easy - not for me, anyway - but doable.

Weight is 261, mile time is 11:12 for one mile.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

260 (down from 280)

On the road again.... :-)

Doing P90 X with Mr. Tony Horton. Slowly getting back to the well.

Updates to come.