I’m back again, after more time lost and no progress made. In February I posted Super Fatty Fat Fat — or Why it’s Time to Get Serious. The day of that post, I weighed in at 278.6 pounds. I wrote:

As far as I can tell, the only thing stopping me is me. And maybe I don’t know how to fix that problem yet, but I have to try.

I think I have a clear answer now — I did not know how to fix the problem. It’s easy to say I know I need to eat better and exercise more, but what is really causing me to not do those things? I’ve read enough books and blogs to know what I should be doing. But I guess I haven’t read enough books and blogs to know why I don’t do those things. I don’t recall what I did after that post — apparently I didn’t keep any records — but I guess it didn’t last long.

So here we are again. Yesterday I weighed in at 267.9 pounds — better off than I was in February but not by much. I’m still far away from where I need to be (I think 200 – 215 pounds is ideal). But losing 67 pounds is a big goal — too big to take on at once. So my first goal is to reach 250 pounds. More specifically, to weigh, on average, less than 250 pounds for one week — before January 1st, 2013. I believe that is attainable. Not easy, but not so difficult I’m afraid of failure. We have about three and a half months left in 2012. I need to lose about 18 pounds, which is around five pounds per month. As heavy as I am now, that really isn’t that much weight to lose.

Here’s my baseline:

267.9 pounds, 30.5% body fat (according to my Withings Scale)

And I took some measurements:

  • shoulders: 47″
  • chest: 45″
  • waist: 49″
  • hips: 47″
  • thighs: 31.5″
  • biceps: 14.5″

I’ll be updating my weight weekly and my measurements monthly. Weight loss is my goal, but I don’t want to focus only on weight — which is why I included measurements this time.

I’ll be back with regular updates (at least I think I will).

I’m happy to report I finally get to try BankSimple, now just called Simple. I signed up for an invite back in March of 2010 and received one about two weeks ago (I believe they started the invite process near the end of 2011). Technically, Simple is not a bank — Simple partners with banks and becomes the friendly layer of customer service in between (we hope). While there is a distinction, for me as an end user it doesn’t really matter much.

Simple has yet to roll out all planned features, but I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far. I transferred a small amount of money to my account to give Simple a try. The transfer time was in line with what I’m used to with other banks. A few days later I received my Visa debit card in the mail. The packaging was nice — definitely had a human touch — and it reminded me a bit of FieldNotes brand packaging.

Simple debit card mailing

So far I’ve only used my card for a few small transactions around town and everything has gone smoothly. I’m primarily using the iPhone App to manage my account, and of course you can do it all on Simple’s website too.

Speaking of websites, I use Mint to manage my money. Unfortunately, Simple is not yet integrated with Mint. I added the account, but Mint says it’s in BETA and currently being worked on. That’s unfortunate, but I’m hopeful it won’t be long until it’s available.

As for the features still to come, there will be an Android app but that’s not out yet. Same for joint accounts and mobile check deposit.

If all continues to go well — and mobile check deposit works as expected — I just might make this my primary bank. At the very least, I expect Simple to replace the other ‘online’ banks I use.

I’m sure America’s 30% obesity rate is just a coincidence.

A map of soda consumption in 80 countries

Great article at CNN on a fitness trainer who gained 70 pounds and lost it in one year.

The part that really jumped out at me was how fast someone can go from the pinnacle of fitness to about my (current) size:

He gave up the gym and started consuming junk food, fast food and soda. In just six months, he went from 193 pounds with a 34-inch waist to 265 pounds with a 48-inch waist.

Of course he wrote a book too.

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but every time I get on the scale I’m heavier than the last time. Today I looked on in horror as I saw 278.6 pounds displayed on the screen (and lovingly tweeted by my scale for me).

Once I recovered from the shock, I sat down and spent a little time looking over my recent weight loss efforts. Just last year, as of March 30, I was down to 248 pounds. That was a loss of 20 pounds from the start of 2011. Not record-breaking, but certainly very respectable progress by any standards. Looking back at what I was doing then, my success was all about eating a (mostly) Paleo diet and walking. I wasn’t doing any weight lifting and I didn’t stop drinking alcohol. If I had kept it up, and even if I had only lost another 20 pounds the rest of the year (that would have given me another nine months to lose 20 pounds when I had already lost 20 in three months), I’d only weigh 228 pounds today — 50 pounds less than I do right now! Sure, we can play what-if games all day long, but it’s pretty amazing to me what a huge difference a few bad choices where I let myself get derailed from doing what was working changed my life so drastically.

I guess the lesson I’m taking away from all this is diligence — I have to keep working the plan every day and not let one failure turn into another and another and snowball into nine months of failures and regrets. I have a plan. I’ve demonstrated that this plan can work. I have the resources to carry out the plan. As far as I can tell, the only thing stopping me is me. And maybe I don’t know how to fix that problem yet, but I have to try. At least I’m aware of it now, or not in denial about it anymore, and that’s where I have to start.

So that’s how I got here. Learning from the past is important, but I can’t dwell on it too long. So what are my next steps?

I put two week’s worth of my workout schedule in my calendar. Taking the time to do this really helps. I have to be realistic about my schedule and work around meetings and whatnot. I like knowing from the start of the day that I have this thing to do and I can work through the day with that in mind. It’s not magic, but it’s certainly better than just letting the day happen and thinking how I should throw in some exercise somewhere.

I’m going to purify the refrigerator and pantry today and make sure I have the ingredients on hand to eat Paleo approved meals for the next few days.

I’m going to re-read all my highlights from The Primal Blueprint, the awesome book by Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple. I highlighted a lot, so that’s no small task.

I think that’s enough for today.

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