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I Don’t Have To Be Perfect, Just Getting Better . . .

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Sunday will mark 5 months that I’ve been a cyborg. On August 24th of last year, I had surgery to install the LapBand to FINALLY get my weight under control. As I look back over the past year, it was February of last year that I seriously started to consider weight loss surgery, I’ve had some triumphs and some setbacks. But mostly, I’ve learned a lot. The one realization that I’ve come to that has hit home more than anything else though is that I don’t have to be perfect. I’m really good at beating myself up when I don’t execute on something perfectly. If I intend to run 5.5 miles in an hour, but only manage 5.25, I say really horrible things to myself. Or if I plan on having a protein shake for breakfast, but inexplicably end up in the drive thru at Jack In the Box, I call myself really nasty names.

I strive for perfection. I think we all do to some degree, it’s what we do when we don’t hit it that matters. If we miss by a little or a lot and it keeps us from trying again, then we don’t grow. But when we realize that we can’t all be perfect all the time and that’s OK, then we’re able to move beyond what we did yesterday and do better tomorrow. I’m good about talking about how much I want to do, but I’m not so good at discussing the times I don’t do it. That’s where my blog has helped me. I can look back on my triumphs and to some degree, my failures and learn from past mistakes and do better next time.

Right now, I’m stuck. Since May of 2009, I’ve lost “prit-near” 75 pounds. It’s by far my biggest triumph in the area of weight loss I’ve ever had. I’ve lost 50 pounds before and even 60, but 70 is new territory for me. For the past 3 – 5 weeks, I’ve hovered between 282.5 and 286 pounds. When you consider I started at 356, I’d say I’m doing pretty good. But getting below this 280 pound mark has been a real bugger for me.

On the 4th of January, I went in and had my band adjusted. Literally for the next 10 days, I couldn’t get nearly anything down. I thought for SURE this would be the breakthrough I needed to get me below 280 pounds finally. About all I could get down were protein shakes and protein drinks. Since I’d been having trouble getting enough protein in my diet, this was (I thought) a good thing. But no, still hovering between 283 and 286 . . . . this morning, I weighed in at 285.

Now, I’d LOVE to think that with the working out I’ve been doing, I’m building muscle and losing fat. I do think to some degree that’s true. I’ve (overall) lost 6 inches in my waist going from size 44 jeans to size 38. I’ve lost 4 inches in my chest, going from a size 56 to a snug 52 and I’ve lost over 3 inches in my neck. So I know my body is changing in radical ways, and all good I might add.

But the blasted scale is my nemisis. Ultimately when I see my doctor on the 1st of February, my measurements won’t mean a THING to him, only the number on the scale. He won’t care what my body fat percentage is, he’ll only want to know how many tubs of butter are no longer on my frame. While I see the benefit in this initially, I was (am) morbidly obese afterall, at some point it SHOULD matter to him that while I only lost 2 pounds, I gained X pounds of lean muscle and lost Y % of body fat. But it won’t. It’s called “Weight Loss” Surgery for a reason. Not “Body Composition” Surgery.

So now, my life is all about tools. What are the tools I need to employ to ensure my success on the scale? The first tool and the biggest of course was the LapBand surgery itself. I knew going into it that it wasn’t going to be a panacea for me. This was a tool and like ANY tool, not properly utilized, it won’t help.

Next up is Gym/Exercise time. I have to dedicate time to exercise. The problem is that left to my own devices, and given the option, I’ll skip the gym more often than not. So accountability partners are key too. My normal people to work out with, Brandon, Nita and Steve, have tons of things going on that lead us to NOT workout together more than we do. So I’ve tried to find accountability partners that have a similar schedule as me. So enter, Carl and Josh from my office. So far (two weeks in or so) it seems as though we’re able to motivate each other to be there and give goodly amounts of crap when we’re not. Another tool.

Today I got my Bodybugg (http://bodybugg.com/). It’s the little device you see on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. They wear them on their left arm and occasionally you’ll hear one of them mention “I haven’t hit my burn for the day”. Really what it does is sit on your arm and measure how many calories you burn during the day. So if the “weight Loss Math” is correct, if you burn more than you consume, you WILL lose weight. BUT there are caveats and hopefully this device will help me find them. For example, if you’re supposed to have 2,000 calories per day and you have FOUR, your body will start to shut down and hold on to every calorie as if it were the hope diamond. So you have to be within reason. A 500 calorie per day deficit will help you lose 1 pound per week. My goal is just over 1.5 pounds per week from now until July. So I picked this little guy up to help me figure this all out.

Will report back later and let you know how all the tools are working out.

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AUTHOR - John Hurlbut

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