Friday, June 1, 2012

Fat guy in a little coat... (and other happy reflections)

The wife and I had a wonderful weekend over Memorial in-laws came over to watch our kids for two nights while Laura and I went up to Victoria, BC, for our first-ever overnight trip without any of our children since Kyle was born.  Yeah, it was pretty sweet.  We had a great time taking the ferry over to Vancouver Island, taking a horse-drawn carriage around downtown, seeing Butchart Gardens, and even stopping by a real-life Portuguese cafe before heading home.

So, why aren't there any pictures on this post?

Well, I'm starting to feel larger-than-life.  They took a picture of us in the carriage as a nice gesture, and when I looked at it on our camera later, I got a little physically ill.  I'm a big, big dude now.  I started putting on a lot of weight last fall around volleyball season, as I was officiating games for the second year, and just couldn't shake the nervousness and dread I was feeling.  So, I medicated with food.  My favorite kind of medication, actually.  During all that, work at my previous company was going all sorts of crazy, and I started the process of interviewing up here.  So, much more stress which required more of my favorite pharmaceuticals (i.e., food...again).

While I'm thrilled with my job, and never been happier, the stress of moving to a new place, starting a new job, and worrying about whether I'm doing a good enough job for my new employer combined with the additional responsibility I now carry as sole in-house counsel and a member of the executive team have all been exciting yet very, very bad for my physique.  Combined with the kidney stone surgeries I needed in October and again in March, and I am just not physically a specimen anymore.  (ahem)

I always told myself I'd never, ever let myself get over 300 pounds.  That was a long time ago now.  I don't even know what the heck I weigh right now, since there aren't many scales that go up that high.  Coupled with the fact that plane seats were already almost unbearable and I've got another trip by air coming up in three weeks means that I've got to do something NOW.  Plus, I work for a wellness company, but I don't really look the part.  That could make me look a little less than engaged with the company mission, which also worries me, as I've got the greatest job I've ever had before and I want to keep it a long, long time.  (Not that I'd probably ever get fired for my weight, but I will lose credibility with our field associates, for sure.)

So, I started out a couple of days ago reducing my calorie intake.  I ate less than 1,000 calories that day, but got momentarily sidetracked yesterday when there was an impromptu celebration for some of my team members for achieving a very hard-earned milestone involving donuts, which are a personal weakness of mine.  I tried to be relatively good for the rest of the day, and today so far, I've stuck to a grilled chicken salad with minimal vinaigrette dressing and a grilled chicken sandwich that I actually asked BK to hold the mayo on.

However, I full well know that cutting back on calories by itself won't work.  So, I actually tried running yesterday, using a running plan laid out in a book on running for weight loss.  The first week, you're supposed to be able to run for one minute and then walk two minutes, and do that cycle 8 times for three times a week.  Well, I made it into the seventh running cycle yesterday, where I had to quit because of shin splints (I oversupinate, which is part of the problem, I guess).  But in that whole 24 minutes, I actually covered a mile and a half, which surprised even me.  I've done 5K's before, but that was a long, long, long time ago and this is really a new start for me.  Of course, the test will be seeing if I can make it out on my second run tomorrow, and to keep following through.  I'm not as sore as I thought I would be, so that's a good thing.  But, I'm getting almost desperate to lose this weight.  I don't think I'll ever make it down to 180 pounds or whatever it is a 6' tall guy is supposed to be at, but even getting down to 250 would be an amazing difference for me.  I'm tired of buying dress shirts with 19 1/2" necks (yes, I have sleep apnea too, surprise) and not fitting into any of my 42" waist pants.  It's time to get serious.  My company sells a weight loss system that really goes pretty extreme...500 calories a day or so for the initial phase, but I'm hoping I start seeing some results short of that.  I've gotta fit in that plane seat in three weeks.  It's a long way to Texas from Seattle.


At June 1, 2012 at 1:53 PM , Blogger Mere said...

I will be the first to admit that my body type is largely thanks to heredity, but about 4 years ago, I weighed in at 40 pounds more than I weigh now. That was my highest weight, but I generally stayed about 30 pounds more than what I am now. I got tired of being in a body that didn't fit me, if that makes sense. I ended up losing 30 pounds in about 4 months. 2 years later I still get questions about how I lost the weight, and it wasn't through some crazy diet and exercise program.

I used to count calories. Even if you don't use it all the time to count calories, I would suggest doing some research on the site because I think that 1,000 calories is waaaay too little for where you are starting from. You need to start higher and then work your way down.

I don't suggest calorie counting for everyone, though. You have to be really anal about it for it to work, and with my personality, it was a great fit.

Overall, our whole family started eating better. It's really hard to diet if your family is not behind you. It was easy for me to force everyone to eat better because I'm the cook in the family! We changed to lower calorie, lower fat foods, and in general, I had to all but give up certain favorite foods like breads and cheeses.

I didn't do any crazy exercising, either. No gym, no weight-lifting, no classes. I started running seriously 4 times a week, first for 30 minutes, and then I upped it to an hour once I got healthier.

Anyway, those are my 10 cents (I'm long-winded, sorry!) You will find that you will feel better after losing just 10 pounds, then 10 more, than 10 more. My labs also improved. Can you believe that I actually had high cholesterol when I graduated from high school and weight in at just over 100 pounds? Now that I've changed what I eat, my cholesterol is good, and my pulse rate has gone down more than 20 beats per minute.

At June 1, 2012 at 1:58 PM , Blogger Whiplash77 said...

Thanks, Meredith...I love hearing from you. You're truly my soul sister...we share so many things in common, like we've talked about before. I just adore you!!

Thanks for the help on the calorie thing...I'm not yet sure where I'm supposed to be at, but I know I certainly need to cut down on where I've been up till now! Laura also struggles, and has been really unhappy as we've gained weight together. I'll start being more supportive of her efforts, and maybe we'll get something good going!! We're just too dang good-looking to let ourselves go!! :) Miss you lots!!

At June 1, 2012 at 1:58 PM , Anonymous Dave Anderson said...

Bro., I fully understand where you are at. The stint I had in the hospital's cardiac unit was a huge wake up call for me. I have to say that you should be proud that you are willing to put yourself out there and ask for help. I personally am rooting for you. If there is anything I can do to help support you let me know.


At June 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM , Blogger Whiplash77 said...

Thank you, Dave...I was plenty worried about you when I heard about your little trip to the ER. Glad you're doing OK! We've got a lot to live for, don't we? I really appreciate your support, and miss you and your sweet family so much!

At June 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM , Blogger Steve-o said...

Hey Casey, I'm rooting for you as well. I've been a yo-yo dieter over the past decade, having lost as much as 75lbs in one year and having gained as much as 55lbs in one year. I've had tons of success doing low carb diets and losing weight rapidly, but I found those diets to be unsustainable because they're not eating the way a normal person eats.

I decided to try something different last year, something I felt would be more sustainable. I found a personal trainer that was also a nutritionist, and I worked out with her twice a week for 10 months. She also gave me diet recommendations and provided away workout plans when I traveled for work. I ended up losing 40lbs, and I did it eating stuff that was readily available.

Like Meredith, I also recommend counting calories, and this was an integral part of my plan last year (it's impossible to keep up in China because the food is rather unusual). I use the tracker on, and there are also iPad and iPhone versions that will tie into your account so that you can count calories or check food nutrition information on the good. Their site also includes a weight tracker, which I love--I'm totally addicted to viewing my progress. Another nice thing about livestrong is that you can put in your body stats and it will recommend a daily calorie intake so that you can lose weight according to your goals.

I'd like to lose another 30-40lbs, but it's tough given my work schedule. Still, I'll be happy if I remain where I am right now, and I've been holding steady--for the first time in my adult life.

In any case, I hope you find something that works for you. There aren't too many things in life that are more important than your health.

At June 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM , Blogger Whiplash77 said...

Thank you, Steve...I know you as well as anyone knows what it's like!! I'll check out the livestrong site...sounds very helpful. Maybe that will help me with Meredith's suggestion, too!

Glad to stay in touch with's great that my cousins are also some of my best friends.

At June 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM , Blogger Brielle said...

Casey. I too am on a weight loss journey. I admire your courage and dedication. I also have a long way to go but I know that every choice I make either brings be closer or further away from my goal.


At June 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM , Blogger Whiplash77 said...

You're very sweet, Brielle...I'm finding and seeing that so many of us all struggle with this!! Good luck to you, and let me know if I can help in any way!! Hope you and your family are doing well, as always!

At June 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM , Blogger Amanda Deniger said...

Casey I know exactly what you mean! I was never a skinny teen or young adult but I have overbloomed my bloomers. I tried every diet out there and finally resulted to weight loss surgery last week. I wish you all the luck in the world.

At June 1, 2012 at 3:03 PM , Blogger Whiplash77 said...

All the luck back to you, Amanda...I hope the surgery works out and that you're back on your feet soon, if not already! Thanks for the support...I appreciate it so much!!

At June 1, 2012 at 8:46 PM , Blogger Todd said...

Casey - Good luck with your journey. It can be so tough to fight the body's natural physiology, which is to make fat and keep it stored for a rainy day.

We all know what free advice is worth, but I'm going to dispense some anyway. I'm not going to say I'm the world's expert, but I would strongly discourage you from a "starvation" diet, ie. eating below your resting metabolic rate. Believe it or not, if you averaged about 2000 calories a day at your current weight, you would probably drop about a pound a week. If you eat below your basal metabolic rate, you will lose weight more quickly, but it will drastically slow your metabolism both because your body thinks you're starving and because it will eat muscle along with fat. So if you ever go off of the super low calorie diet, you put the weight back on very quickly - hence the super common yo yo diet. So, you will lose weight slowly at this calorie level, but you will maintain or build muscle and you will keep the weight off.

I would also recommend weight lifting, which will slowly build up your metabolism over time. Also look up some info on high intensity interval training which burns more fat than regular cardio.

I listened to lots of podcasts, read lots of articles and so forth and these guys seem to have the most reasonable, scientific approach.

Download all their past episodes and listen them on your long commute.

Good luck! You're a good man and I look forward to hearing about your progress!

At June 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM , Blogger Whiplash77 said...

Thanks, Doctor Todd! Having real medical advice helps...I'll check out the podcast for sure. Sounds like a long road ahead, but I'd be thrilled if I could get back to a better weight.

I appreciate your support...I'll keep everyone posted!!

At June 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM , Anonymous Corey (Hutchison) Hershberger said...

Hey Casey-
I totally agree with Todd...don't starve doesn't will also slow down your metabolism making it even tougher to lose weight! You need to boost your tea is great for that. I actually was on a weight loss quest about a year ago....I wanted to get back to my "wedding weight". I started the Herbalife program and quest for a better, healthier life and have been totally thrilled with it. It is more natural products, created by doctor's and even a nobel laureate! I have lost over 20lbs, kept it off for more than 6 months now! I have a ton more energy AND it is safe for the kids! My kids love the vitamins, shakes and protein bars. My husband has lost, I think about 30 lbs! Herbalife has helped us lose weight, feel better and change the health of our family along the way! If you want to know more about it, send me a message on Facebook...would love to talk to you about it! Best of luck on achieving your goals....I know you can do it!

At June 2, 2012 at 8:47 PM , Blogger kathypitt said...

use for delicous meal ideas. who wants boring diet good. if you want to know how many calories you have been eating multiply your weight by x 15.thats how many calories it takes to stay at that weight. to LOSE WEIGHT multiply your weight by 12 to lose 2 pounds a week. kathy pitt

At June 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Casey-

I know all about gaining weight and then trying to lose it. I cut out sugar (worst part) and started eating about half of what I want to eat and it's made a huge difference. I don't exercise very much (or at all), but I've been able to lose about 50 lbs in 6 months or so. Who knew that eating peanut butter M&M's all day was so bad for you?

Good luck buddy. Keep us updated on your progress.


At June 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM , Blogger Whiplash77 said...

Thanks, Tyler...I'm certainly trying to cut back on portions. It IS hard. Most of the best advice I've been getting is that this truly has to be a lifestyle change..."eat like a thin person," stuff like that. It won't (and can't be) an all at once purge 'cause it will never stay off. I guess that's the hardest part. Way to go on your loss, though! If I could lose 50 pounds, I'd have about 50 pounds more to go!! ;) I'll keep everyone posted!


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