Sunday, September 26, 2010

When trying to lose is just maintaining a win or a loss?

We've all been here. When you're trying to lose, do you get down on yourself during your weekly check-in when you step on the scale and find you are the same weight?

I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't a little disappointed. When you are trying to move the needle lower and you are basically diligent about whatever diet you are on, you want your work rewarded.

Notice I said "Basically diligent" which is code for not 100% faithful, but in the ballpark of being a good boy.

When I first began this odyssey, I recall a similar arc during my first month where I lost big in week one and was a bit shell shocked by the loss in the subsequent weeks. I know in my heart I was much more strict at following the boundaries of the plan back then. So when you retreat to your better ways of eating, you have to be strong enough to not look at the scale as your guide to success. You have to know in your heart that if you stick to it long enough, the reward you are seeking will follow.

Being self aware: knowing what you did right and wrong this week is critical to success.

I can be disappointed that I didn't lose while also being cool with maintaining. I know that sounds schizo, but it's true.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Going Lower on the High Holidays

Today I clocked in 2 pounds lighter than last Friday. Down 12 pounds now in 2 weeks.

Go Team Me!

It's the first 2 week stretch of being pretty observant to the plan and I am feeling a lot better about myself and the progress I have been making.

Today begins Yom Kippur - the holiest day of the year for us Jews. As such, we begin a period of fasting.

Kinda hard to gain weight when your fasting, I guess - so I atone for all my misgivings - false starts - failed promises to myself and others and begin anew.

To all my friends and followers, I wish you all peace during this solemn day of reflection and thank you for your continued support.



Friday, September 10, 2010

Spin, Spin, Spin!

The scale continues to surprise me (more spin).

Hopped on for my one-week weigh in and was shocked to see a 10 pound loss.

Anyone who is connected to me on Facebook saw the pictures of the ribs, and only me and my conscience know about the peanuts at the Dodgers game, and the other little skirmishes that occasionally occurred thru the week.

Thrilled beyond belief.

It's a start. Already the jeans are fitting looser, the belt is one notch tighter and I feel like real progress was made.

Friday, September 3, 2010

When Truth is A Casualty: Believing Your Own Spin

When you are a veteran PR guy, as I am, the worst thing you can ever do is believe your own bullshit.

Before I stepped on the scale today, I played out this whole scenario in my head about what was an "acceptable" number to gain given I hadn't seen the doctor in several months.

Throwing out numbers like this is a dangerous game. Complete utter lunacy, actually.

But let's play it out here for a sec so you can see the way my sick little mind was working. I figured, it was over four months since my last visit, so 20 pounds was somehow ok.

Forget that I pulled that number straight out of my ass.

Forget that I had been promising myself I was gonna go to the doctor for weeks prior to actually mustering the courage to just go.

20 pounds became the acceptable gain.

As I hopped on the scale this morning, biting my lip and hoping the healthy crap I took when I woke ups would somehow matter when the final tally popped up on the screen, I knew I was fucked.

And then my deal with the devil - my 20 pound arbitrarily acceptable gain - gave me the easy out.

I only spiked 15. Well, hey now and Hallelujah!

Angels were singing. Cute little animated birds were flying around my smug smiling face and they were chirping.

In my mind, I had been spared humiliation because miraculously I was actually under what I thought I had packed on since April.

"Wow, not as bad as I thought," I told the nurse.

The only victim here is truth.

In reality, I am up closer to 35 pounds since my low. And if that's not depressing and infuriating to me, nothing is. I have fallen for my own hype. Whatever will power and resolution I once possessed has given way to weakness.

If you look back on the blog, you can count the number of posts in recent months that proclaim, I am back and I'm better than ever.

Well, I'm back, warts and all. Trying to find my way thru this mess. The pledge I have made to my, myself and I, is to try to lose much of what I have gained these past months by my birthday - October 24th.

It's a lofty and ambitious goal and one I can meet if I truly focus on my eating and exercise with the same strength and conviction I had back in February of 2009.

So,  time to stop spinning and start all over again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Return of the Fling

Tomorrow I head back to the Doctor after a long absence.

I keep starting and stopping and promising myself I will be good tomorrow but tomorrow becomes next week and next month.

Been putting this off way too long. It's been 4 months since my last face to face with the team and I really don't want to face the music, but at a certain point, it's playing way too loud.

This has been a bad fling.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Wow, that spiral staircase takes a long time to navigate when you are going down, down, down.

Why the fuck did I work so hard for so long only to throw it away so quickly?

I sat in a room of colleagues today cavalierly downing pizza. Then I went to the movies with Hannah where it was a bag of popcorn. Then to dinner for sushi and menchis for dessert.

What has happened to you, Elzer?

Get a grip, man!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back in the saddle again

I lost 7 1/2 pounds last week. Probably the first time I have lost weight in months! Feels fucking fantastic to be back in the saddle again.

I will post a bit more later... should have offered this update days ago.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Dark Days of the Diet and the U Turn Towards Tomorrow

When you have been ambling kind of rudderless and you know you are off course, there is something incredibly powerful about grabbing that keel and pointing the boat in the right direction. For the first time in a long time I feel like the wind is at my backslide.  Finally,  I am heading towards the routine that made me feel so good about myself last year.

Case in point: today. Instead of meeting a friend in Vegas for the Wine Spectator's Grand Tasting gala, which is an annual event I try to attend,  I am home with my family.  Sure, it was a fantabulous excuse to have a buddies weekend in Vegas eating, drinking and gambling, but when my friend started waffling over whether we should go, it was just too easy to duck out and stay the course that began earlier this week.

Last night, as we celebrated our anniversary, I convinced Amy that we should just remain home where I could cook a nice healthy meal.  Now I know a guy should put some energy into celebrating a momentous milestone like  15 years of marriage, but we really had a good time just hanging out at home.

Thru the week, I backed the attack with home cooked meals at work. I went to the gym a few times. I started drinking lots and lots of water. All the staples of my program. Nothing bold. Nothing daring. Just familiar basics.

Was I perfect? No. But it has been months since I have felt like this and already I am feeling a difference physically and mentally.

How did I veer to a place I vowed never to see again? It started slow with baby steps and pre-cheats that became a gateway to unsanctioned eating. I recall one day going into the lunch room at the office where there were stacks of pizza boxes left over from an office meeting. It didn't matter that I had already eaten lunch just moments before. The boxes beckoned. I found a slice of margherita and tore into it with some ravenous delight. Instead of quickly jamming the pizza down my throat in some crazed sneak, I boldly sauntered into the hallway - slice in hand - where I bumped into a colleague.

I am sure he thought - "What is Elzer doing with pizza in his hand?" But I shot him a look that said "Don't fuck with me. I wanna be bad."

And that attitude that began as delicate little tastes and polite little bites evolved into a mini-collapse of the mentality that helped me drop 130+ pounds.

The difference these days is that normally I wouldn't slap myself into submission until I had gained all my weight back and then some.  I was able to catch myself relatively early in the relapse. I think more than anything else it is because I saw most of the family echoing my behavior and I didn't like where it was going. In truth, it was Amy who was leading by example. She never abandoned going to the aerobics classes the way I just cut off going to the gym. As a result, I think she maintained her loss best thru what I will affectionately designate as the dark days of the diet.

I dunno what will happen next. Lots of stuff is going thru my head. Each day is a challenge. Today we go to the movies. I want popcorn. I want to have that instant gratification of wanting what i want when I want it. But I just can't live that way. Others may have the metabolism to handle those desires. I am not that fortunate.

So I have to build up, once again, an ample reserve of attitude that allows me to beat down that wanton lust for won ton or popcorn or whatever tasty treat is tempting me in the moment.

If the last few months have taught me anything, it is that this fight will be lifelong and it will have victories and defeat.  I wish it was more stable but it isn't. Never has been. Never will be.

Copyright, 2010, Steve Elzer. All Rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Look

On Monday i went to dinner with members of my family. My brother took one look at me and I could see his concern in his eyes. "So, are you still going to the doctor?" he said among other gently nudging, prodding questions.

This was purely his polite code for "dude, you're packing em' on again."  

The truth is I have been off the range for months. Yesterday, I went to the doc and checked in for the first time in 5 or 6 weeks. The scale tells no lies. I am up more than 20 pounds since my low.

I am disappointed but I am not in a death spiral. The wake up call had actually come before "the look."

I am carb free for close to 40 hours now. So now it is back on the plan. I cancelled a bunch of lunch and future dinners and am bringing my own food into the office from home. Tonight, Hannah and I are going to the gym to work out for the first time in a while.

I will lose what I gained by this time next month.

No one ever said it would be easy.  

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Partner in the struggle

A friend who is also struggling sent me a note today.

"I have lost my mojo and need to find it again."

I suggested we meet at Shakey's where they have fantastic fried Mojo potatoes.  

Misery loves company. 

And so it goes. 

The mindset is everything when taking on a life change. 

When you want to cheat and feel like you can just deal with the consequences, you cheat. 

This has been a lousy week to try and get on track. Three dinners out and three food centered parties makes it hard to stay true and on course. 

I plan to begin anew on Saturday. 


I will find it again.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Schizo Boy, The Bulge & The Spotlight

"I'm still here," I say then I disappear.

For weeks on end I go AWOL only to pop up like that rascally gopher crawling out of his hole in Caddyshack. I stick my head above ground, do a quick little dance and grin. These posts lately have felt like nothing more than me shaking my chubby hips before quickly scurrying back underground.

Frankly, the commitment has been a bit schizo.

So what happened to me? What happened to that steely resolve? What happened to that walk with my wife where I declared "we are never going back there!"

All I know is my pants are uncomfortably tight. The dedication to diet is on shaky ground and my program collapses like a house in Haiti once the tremors start.

I wish I could say that my jeans were washed in hot water and they shrunk.

Not so.

I certainly can just switch to the next size up but that would be too easy. That would be waving the white flag of defeat and surrender. I would rather live with the tight waistband that serves as the pinching and painful reminder that I gotta get a grip.

No more time outs. No more celebrations.

I am turning the spotlight back on and crawling out from underground.

It's the only thing I know that works in my battle of the bulge.

This will be the first of at least three posts this week.

Photos and written material by Steve Elzer

© Copyright, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fridays With Doctor J

I returned to the fold on Friday after nearly 7 weeks of playing hooky with the diet and the regular visits to the doctor. I was nervous as I walked thru the door and headed into the familiar routine of checking in, dropping trow, getting the b-12 shot and having the stats taken before jumping on the scale.

So when I looked down at the numbers flashing before me, I was honestly a bit surprised that I had only gained 3 1/2 pounds since the first week in January - a huge victory. Especially given the week I just enjoyed with a completely extravagant, hedonistic, and impossibly delicious wine dinner with friends in Santa Barbara.

So after this night of excess and the weeks of playing fast and loose with the plan, my little victory dance was not something to celebrate. And therein lies the rub. I considered gaining 3 1/2 pounds in 7 weeks a big win and I left cocky and perhaps not as completely committed or resolved to retrenching in the diet as I was prior to getting the news.

As a dieter, when you have had a lapse and you return to the fold thinking you have gained more that you have, and you hit the scale only to come in UNDER expectations, you can really play havoc with your best intentions.

Your mind says "well that wasn't so bad," and you give your self license to continue playing the game just as you have...

Wrong. No can do.

I am back to the doc. Now I need to get back with the exercise routine... I think I will head to the gym tomorrow and kick start myself all over again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finding My Way Back Home

Friday I go back to the doctor. I feel a bit like Charlie Sheen going back to rehab, except without that psychotic history of beating the shit out of a lot of women.

I know I have gained a bit. Nothing too nuts (i hope), but enough to feel it and know i need to return to basics. Getting back on the horse is harder than I thought.