26 June 2015

If you are upset about today’s SCOTUS ruling and feel betrayed, keep this in mind:

This is not about you. This is not about the personal and religious beliefs to which you are entitled. This is not about forcing any church to perform a wedding that is contrary to its laws. Your personal beliefs are safe; your church is still safe to continue to do whatever it does.

This is about equality for all. For every citizen of the United States of America, the right to legal protections for the families they choose to create, to give a name truer than “civil union” to their partnerships, and to extend to everyone all the legal benefits that the rest of us take for granted.

No one says you have to approve or agree with it, but now the law puts everyone on an equal playing field.

Feel free to not think it’s all right.

Feel free to be comfortable in a church where those weddings will never be held.

Feel free to believe God is not all right with this; truthfully, God will sort us *all* out in the end.

That was the whole point: freedom.

And in this one thing, now we all have freedom.

It’s a beautiful thing.


14 June 2015

About the Anonymous commenter on the post below...

The day I wrote that post was also the day Reddit banned a subreddit that was both very popular and very reviled called fatpeoplehate. It was (to me) a horrible, awful place where hateful people of the dipshit variety went to post pictures of overweight people and mock them mercilessly. They often took pictures from other subreddits, LoseIt (where people post to get weight loss support) and ProgressPics (where people post before/during/after images of their physical changes) and slammed the hell out of them.

Oddly enough, there were people from loseit who went there for motivation, but that's neither here nor there.

I suspect that Anonymous is one of the pissed off members from fatpeoplehate, who have been throwing temper tantrums left and right over the loss of the subreddit, crying about freedom of speech and being censored (which tells me quite a bit more about them, not understand what actual censorship is) and following others around online to pick on them.

I have no proof, but the timing... I suspect so. I post to loseit often, and it doesn't take much to jump from there to MyFitnessPal or Fitbit and find the way here.

I don't particularly care that Anonymous thinks I'm a fatass and not worthy of discussing the process; I do appreciate y'all defending me.

I found fatpeoplehate to be a lot like People of Walmart: mean spirited, never funny, and not worth my time. So let's just let it go and ignore him or her, because giving any more attention to a toddler in the middle of a tantrum only re-enforces the idea that negative attention is still attention worth having.

On the flipside of the coin, the brighter spot of Reddit, if you need a place to connect with others on the path to losing weight and getting healthy, /r/loseit is a fantastic place.


10 June 2015

I've lost a little bit of weight--just a little. It's a very slow process, and as much as I would like to speed-lose, it'll be more likely to stay off. I've done the whole drop it quick, gain it back thing, and I don't want to do that again. I'm thinking long-term, not just being able to squeeze into a smaller size by next month.

My health has been in the forefront of my brain the last few months, and while I've inched my way toward eating better and moving more in the last couple of years--I honestly have--it was just time to really do something proactive.

The swimming is mostly for fitness; it's the one cardio activity I know I'll routinely do without feeling like I'm being punished. I still love walking, but swimming is a lot easier on my body and I feel like I get a better workout in the pool. It does burn calories--I use a waterproof heart rate monitor to give me an idea how much and I get roughly 500 calories burned in 2400 meters--but it's only a small part of the equation.

The crux of it really is simple: calories in, calories out. No, it really doesn't matter what form those calories take, not as far as weight loss and gain goes. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

You'll feel better if you eat better food, but you really can lose weight eating crap. I am choosing to eat less crap, eat more real food. But in the end, calories count.

If you want to lose weight, it doesn't do much good to just declare yourself to be limited to 1200 or 1400 or 1600 calories; the amount of food that's right for me might be too little for you, or too much. You need to have an idea what your Basic Metabolic Rate is (BMR) and your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and calculate an eating deficit based on that.

Easiest way to find those numbers is to use an online TDEE calculator. IIFYM has a good one, I check it every now and then there (sometimes the page looks screwed up, with ads inserted into the middle of the calculator...just scroll down and you'll be able to enter all your data.)

An example: a 45 year old female who is 5'7" and 250 pounds and who exercises 3 times a week has a BMR of 1814 calories a day and a TDEE of 2494. That means that her body burns 1800ish calories a day just to stay alive...what she would use up lying in bed, not moving. To maintain her body weight at her activity level, she needs to eat 2500ish calories.

To lose weight, figure out how many pounds a week, and figure out a deficit based on the TDEE. Want to lose a pound a week, cut 500 calories a day off that. Two pounds, cut 1000.

So she would eat about 1500 calories a day to lose 1.5-2 pounds a week. And ideally, no matter how badly she wants to drop weight, she would also not routinely go under 1200 calories a day.

The body needs fuel. It needs food. Not eating is not an option.

And yes, it can be any food. If you want all your calories to come from fast food, if you stick within your calorie counts, you'll lose weight. You might not feel fantastic, but you can lose weight.

Why the difference in how you feel? Simple. The better the fuel you fill up your tank with, the better your machine works. And your body is a machine. A tankful of cheap assed crap won't hurt every once in a while, but over time...yeah, you'll feel it.

But I've tried that and I can't lose weight counting calories!

Yeah, you can. You're not immune to biology. Your body works the way a body works; if you eat to many calories, you gain weight. Eat under your TDEE and you will lose.

But I counted them, I really did!

It's very, very easy to under-count. If you're counting and not seeing results, you're either misjudging serving sizes or not understanding serving sizes. Sure, Applebee's 7 ounce sirloin clocks in at about 270 calories...but the ribeye at the steak house? Yeah, that's going to be a whole lot more. 

And if you're cooking at home and don't have a grasp, get a food scale. Measure your food exactly for a while. You'll get the hang of it.

But I have issues! I have a slow metabolism! PCOS! Wonky thyroid!

Doesn't matter...and I've used that excuse. If you have genuine metabolic issues you'll have to adjust your TDEE number downward, but only by a couple hundred calories. And if you have a genuine medical condition, see your doctor. Get it addressed. Get on the medications that will help.

I know that particular pain; I have a laundry list of issues. It took a few years to get onto the right dosage of Sythroid, but that in itself was never in my way. The only thing in my way was me.

I eat at a normal-people TDEE that should have me losing about 1.5 pounds a week, but I'm losing about half a pound. And that's fine. I know why it's slow and I know that if I lose it slowly I have better odds of it staying off. I'm also not willing to eat less.

That's a key...know what you're willing to do. Know where your Oh Hell No point is. For me it's 1500 calories a day; I don't routinely eat under that even though I know I would lose easier.

You swim, you exercise, I hate exercise. So I'll never lose anything.

You really don't have to exercise. It's just calories in, calories out. Exercise helps burn more and help you feel better, but you don't have to just to lose weight.

I still recommend it...but find something that doesn't feel like punishment and does feel like fun. Get a video game system and play fitness games. Take Zumba classes. Martial arts. Dance in your own house to the music you like, and dance like no one's watching.

Your heart will appreciate it.

And here's the bigger thing, the one my doc tried to pound home: you're more than a number on a scale. If you eat well and stay active, and if you feel healthy, then keep doing what you're doing. My doc would rather see me eating better foods and keeping up with the swimming and adding other activities to my routines than sitting back and just trying to drop body mass.

I do want to lose body fat; I do want to do it slowly and get to a weight that feels good to me; I don't want to make it my life's mission. I don't have "bad days" but I do have days where I've eaten a little more...and that's not a big deal. Life's too short to be too restrictive. I also don't have "cheat days." If I want something I normally wouldn't eat, I eat it. It's eating, not cheating.

I don't like the cheat-day mindset...but you do whatever works for you.

TL;DR: you are not the number on the scale, but if you want to see that number decline, it's calories eaten versus calories matter what.


7 June 2015

The little town we live in doesn't have much crime; yes, there was a murder a while back--one teenager killed another at the park--but overall it's nuisance crime, crimes of opportunity, and graffiti.

There's more graffiti here than one would expect in a small town, but most of it is one word plastered all over the place, including an Interstate overpass than mostly makes people wonder how the hell it got there. There was worry that it was gang tagging, and with that comes the uneasy air of what if it really is?

But then one woman posted to a Facebook group created for locals to share information that the graffiti was being done by one person, not a gang, and she knew that because it was her 22 year old son. She detested that he was doing it, had pleaded with him to stop, and wasn't making any excuses.

My gut reaction? That took some cojones to step up and admit that it was her kid, and a lot of relief that it actually was just one kid and not a gang.

People couldn't seem to let it go, though. She was berated in comment after comment; clearly, it was bad parenting.

Never mind that her kid is a grown man, legally an adult.

He was arrested a couple of weeks ago; she apologized again, pointed out that she'd done everything she could, tried to push him in an artistic direction, tried open other avenues to him, but he just kept doing it.

And again, people jumped on the you're-a-bad-parent bandwagon.

It got ugly.

It was cyber-bulling by a bunch of supposed adults.

It was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

Last week she killed herself.

The group first found out when a friend of her posted, and only posted because the last text she received from her was about the group and the pile-on of insults and personal accusations. Her friend was livid, and who can blame her? He husband posted later; he's heartbroken, and for what?

Apparently so some people who wouldn't have the guts to say those things to her face could sit back and get some weird thrill from slamming someone else over and over, over something about which she truly had no control.

I can't even pretend to understand it.

She did us all a favor by letting us know that no, we don't have a gang problem. Just a bored 22 year old. Her reward was unfair bullying, and it was piled on until she broke.

I don't know what my point is.

I'm just ticked off.

Really, horribly, ticked off.


2 June 2015

I’m taking the pressure off my poor brain. While I have enough donors lined up, people willing to get me to the $1800 minimum to participate in the Avon Walk, I think I’m just going to play it safe and back out. While there’s no flying involved and I could just walk a few miles a day, the truth is that I have an ego and once I hit my max number of miles in a day, if I felt good I would push on. I wouldn’t be walking with anyone who could grab me and remind me there’s no prize at the end for total number of miles walked and no glory in being stupid.

And even though there’s no flying, there is travel: I would have to make the drive back home on Sunday, after walking probably more than I should, on sleep I likely wouldn’t get, and who knows what I would be able to eat all weekend. It just kept feeling like a bad idea all the way around. I don’t always act intelligently; I know I would try to push hard, and I don’t know what the end result would be. I don't want the end result to be me wrapping my car around a post on the Bay Bridge, or worse, taking out someone else.



I was planning to spend money on airfare to and a hotel room in Philly, plus a hotel room in SF, and if I’m not going to go to those places, I can still make use of those funds.

I’ll do the final math and split it among my team mates. At least then I’ll feel like I’m still doing something for the walk events, and less like a little kid not being allowed to go play. And there’s the tax deduction…I will totally use it as a tax deduction.

By taking both of those off the table entirely, my focus can be on getting myself into better shape; I’m getting there. Some weight has come off, my endurance is up, and I have energy.

Today (first day back in the pool after a week of not going, thanks to ear pair from a wonderful case of swimmer’s ear…the doc said I could swim if I wanted but I really didn’t want to while it hurt) I utilized some of the advice my endocrinologist gave me last week and added just 7 almonds to my breakfast and then took with me to the gym some Powerade that was 50% regular and 50% zero calorie, and at the end of the hour in the pool I didn’t feel drained and didn’t feel like my blood sugar was spiraling down.

Progress, I hope.

Also hoping the additional calories don’t trip up my weight loss. I brought that up with her and got a lecture about focusing on a number on the scale, to just focus on staying as active as I am and eating sensible food and enough protein…which I mostly agree with. I’m just tired of being this flabby and would really like to not have 3 chins when I look down.

She’s right, but…

LOL I am still weighing myself.

So. TL;DR: for sure not walking Avon either, will donate my travel money, and will focus on health this year.

I know…broken record, broken record.

If you want to donate, please consider donating to my team mates. It's tax deductible!