About Fogdog's Weight Loss

Don't Focus on the Goal...

If you've followed this blog you know that I've struggled for many years with improving my health. I've finally reached a point where I've managed to maintain a small amount of success. Now it's time to take the next step, but I believe it requires a new way of thinking.

Instead of trying to get healthy, why not shift focus toward learning how to build healthy habits instead. Follow me as I try to teach myself how to Engineer healthy habits that will allow me to take my health to the next level. Let's see where this experiment goes!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weigh-In #7 - 12/26/09

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Starting Weight: 297 lbs

Last Weigh-in: 287.5 lbs

Current Weight: 288 lbs

Weekly Loss (Gain): (0.5)lbs

Total Weight Loss: 9 lbs

Not my best week but it could've been much worse given all the temptations I faced during the week.  Even though I just started this blog, I've actually been trying to lose weight all year.  I started 2009 at 320, so I am happy that I have lost 32 pounds this year.  On Christmas eve I watched a home video of our Christmas in 2008 and I could not believe how different I look in just 1 year!  To actually see some real results was cool and is giving me more motivation to do even better this year.  Good Luck to us all!

Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weigh-in #6 - 12/19/09

Starting Weight: 297 lbs

Last Weigh-in: 289 lbs

Current Weigh-in: 287.5 lbs

Weekly Loss (Gain): 1.5 lbs

Total Loss: 9.5 lbs

I met my goal for the week!  I worked hard and was rewarded with a decent weight loss.  Now I have to work hard to get through Chirstmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Journal Update 12/18/09

It has been a while since I last made a journal entry. I have decided to start posting my journal entries at the end of the week rather than at the beginning. It was starting to feel like my journal entries were more about explaining why I lost or gained weight instead of actually writing about how I did.

From my last weigh-in you can see that I did not have a stellar week. Because of my previous victory in the week before last, I cut myself some slack over the weekend. Part of that slack included 2 trips out eat and one of those was to a buffet where I definitely ate more than I should have. Mind you, I’ve been much worse, but I definitely lost control on that trip. In my last journal entry I indicated that I wanted to start exercising and I set a goal to exercise at least 3 times during the week. Unfortunately that did not happen. Instead I put it off and put it off until there were only 3 days left. Of course as fate would have it, I ran into issues at work that required me to work 2 extremely long days leaving very little opportunity to get some exercise in. Thankfully, the busy end to my week is probably what saved me from actually gaining weight. I was on my feet most of the time and missed dinner twice settling for a small snack instead. I knew it would be tough during the holiday season and I am grateful to have remained at the same weight through last week.

This week, however, has been a different story. I have managed to get some workouts in this week. Though I have not finished hammering out my workout plan, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer. I did three 30 minute workouts this week and am happy to have accomplished that goal. On Monday I did strength training and focused on my upper body and on Tuesday I did an elliptical workout. By Wednesday I was a little sore so I took a break but then on Thursday I did another strength training workout and focused on my lower body. I am a little sore, but I did take my own advice on exercising and started out slowly. Today I had planned on another workout, but mother nature had a better exercise plan. At this point we have received 10 inches of snow so I decided I better get shoveling as we are expected to get another 10 inches overnight. My driveway is about 100 feet long so I got a nice workout shoveling snow for about 90 minutes.

I also ate really well this week. We did go out over the weekend, but we ate at Subway and I just got a footlong veggie sub and water. I had my one cheat meal on Wednesday (we took the kids out for ice cream) and the rest of the week I’ve managed to stay on my plan. My wife has been a great help; she’s made some really good meals lately (including a great vegetarian dish this evening) and she only makes just enough for everyone to eat plus 1 meal for my lunch the next day. It’s good because if I want eat too much at dinner I don’t because then I won’t have enough food at lunch the next day. I also got 60-80 ounces of water in each day, which always helps me lose weight. All in all I have to say it’s been a really good week and I am looking forward to getting on the scale tomorrow morning. Of course there’s always that chance that the scale won’t reflect the work I put in so I prepared for that. In the end I know I’m on the right track and right now that’s all that matters. Hopefully this weekend I’ll have time to complete my workout plan so I can get started on a regular routine. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Starting an Exercise Plan

Now that I’ve started exercising, I thought I would do an article on setting up an exercise plan. Exercise is an essential component to getting the weight off. When you exercise you burn more calories and it goes beyond just the time you spend working out. The extra calorie burn goes on for hours after you workout and after it becomes a regular habit, your body will react by anticipating your normal workout and it will begin burning calories before you even begin. In addition to burning more calories and increasing your metabolism, you will also feel better.  Exercising releases endorphins that can help to make you feel happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.  Of course losing weight will also help boost your confidence and self esteem.  Below are some tips to help you get started:

Know your limitations and take it slow – Before you even begin you have to be realistic about your abilities. If you have existing conditions that might affect what you can do, talk to a doctor about your plan. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, don’t expect to be able to lift weights or run for hours like you might have done in high school. If you overdo it in the beginning, at best you will end up really sore and at worst you will injure yourself. If that happens you will lose the momentum while you recover and have to start all over again.

Make a plan – Are you going to workout at home or at a gym? Are you going to workout in the morning, midday, or in the evening? Make a plan that fits you lifestyle. Try to shoot for 3-5 days each week.  Also, don't forget the weekends.  Sometimes we get hung up on working out during the normal work week and we forget that often the weekends have more free time to get a couple workouts in.

Include Strength Training – The best form of exercising for losing weight is strength training. As your body builds muscle it requires more calories each day to maintain that muscle. Every extra pound of muscle burns an extra 50 calories each day. Strength training will also give your metabolism a boost as well. Even if you are a woman, don’t fear strength training. You won’t bulk up and 30 minutes of strength training will beat 45 minutes on a treadmill any day of the week when it comes to losing weight.

Be ready to make changes in your workout – One of the biggest problems people have with working out is that they end up getting bored. Plan ahead for this and come up with ways to mix things up. I have about 10 different workout plans so when I get bored I switch from one to the next. The changes don’t have to be huge. For example, in workout “A” I do a bench press. In workout “B” I do pushups instead. In workout “C” I do pushups on a flipped over BOSU ball. Even small changes in your routine can help to break the boredom and it also has the benefit of making your muscles work in different ways.

Adjust your diet – When you do strength training, it’s best to get some protein in within the first hour after working out. If you work out in the morning you might need a small snack before you start too. Be prepared to adjust your diet slightly to accommodate your increase in activity. If you find yourself constantly sore or feeling tired all the time, you might even need to eat more calories.

Challenge yourself – Keep track of your progress and try to do a little more each week. Set short term and long term SMART goals to give you purpose. You can even set benchmarks before you begin; see how many push-ups and sit-ups you can do or time yourself to run or walk a mile. You will be surprised at how much you can improve in just 6 weeks time.

Don’t lose the momentum – Getting started is one of the hardest parts; once you get the ball rolling, don’t let it stop. If you feel like taking a day off, instead consider doing a “light” workout. Even if you only workout for half the time, you at least keep the momentum going. Once you start skipping workouts, it gets easier and easier to skip more often and eventually the momentum is completely lost.

Getting regular exercise is an essential tool in the battle to lose weight. However, don’t just limit yourself to increased activity for just one short duration every day. Look for ways to increase your activity level all the time. Find fun things to do that also provide exercise. Go swimming, ride a bike, play tennis, or just go for a walk. There are all sorts of opportunities for you to increase your activity level each and every day. What are you waiting for? Get started today!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weigh-in #5 - 12/12/09

Starting Weight: 297 lbs

Last Weigh-in: 289 lbs

Current Weigh-in: 289 lbs

Weekly Loss (Gain): 0 lbs

Total Loss: 8 lbs

I didn't meet my goal, but it could have been worse.  More about my week in my next journal entry.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Your Eating Personality

In order to lose weight you have to get a solid understanding of who you are and how you got to be overweight in the first place. Only then can you learn to recognize the “triggers” for your overeating. Below are a few personalities of overeaters and some of the mechanisms that trigger the behavior. The groups are not meant to be exclusive to each other; you may find you fit in several. However, there will probably be one that describes you better than the others:

The Closet Eater
To anyone who knows the closet eater casually, it’s hard to understand why they are overweight in the first place. Usually this person is seen eating relatively healthy, eating small amounts of healthy fare whenever in the public eye. But once at home they binge on anything and everything they have in their cupboards. Typically the closet eater doesn’t care to go out to restaurants; he/she prefers to get take-out and bring it to the confines of their home. Their addiction is well hidden from the rest of the world and they take great strides to hide it from others. If you’ve ever gone to a fast food drive through, ordered a ton of food, and then ordered extra drinks just so the cashier doesn’t know it’s all for you then you might be a closet eater.

Because they don’t overeat in public they can rationalize that their eating is not really a problem. Often closet eaters are single making it easier to hide their overeating, but it’s not a requirement. There are plenty of closet eaters out there who hide it from everyone including their spouse and children.

What triggers the closet eater to eat is the feeling of reaching their safe zone. They’ve fooled the world again and now can reward themselves with a gallon of ice cream.

The Social Eater
Everyone knows the social eater; they are usually the loudest, funniest, and largest person at every get-together. All plans by the social eater require food in some way; Movies require dinner beforehand; Work meetings should include lunch; Getting together with friends needs to be at the local bar and grill. Social eaters don’t hide from being overweight and some actually wear it like a badge of courage.

Social eaters rationalize that they don’t have a problem because they are happy all the time. Most people think the social eater has a very happy and fulfilling life, but that’s not really the case. Often the social eater puts on the happy, “life of the party” face in order to hide the fact that they are really unhappy about their weight.

The trigger for a closet eater is any gathering of people where food is involved

The Emotional Eater
Emotions can trigger overeating in all the personality types, but the emotional overeater’s entire diet is based on how he/she is feeling at the time. If depressed or sad, the emotional eater will eat comfort foods. If stressed or angry they will eat crunchy foods. How they feel directly determines what and how much they eat.

Emotional eaters rationalize their eating by treating it as a form of therapy. If it changes their mood, then it’s worth the few extra pounds. Unfortunately the mood change is usually short-lived and they end up in a cycle of feeling bad and eating to get out of it.

The obvious trigger for the emotional eater is any event that causes unwanted emotions.

The Constant Eater
The constant eater never stops eating. Their days consist of a never-ending routine of trips to the vending machine and stops at the convenience store. Anytime there is an opportunity to get a snack, they are going to get it. If someone brings cookies to work, they’ve got to try them. If they pass the local Starbucks, it’s time for a coffee. If the constant eater goes to a party, they usually just hang at the food table and snack as others pass by.

Constant eaters rationalize their eating because they never eat a lot at any one time. They know their weight is a problem but often they understand why because their regular meals really aren’t that bad. The snacking becomes unconscious and they often don’t realize how much they take in each day.

The trigger for constant eaters is any opportunity that presents itself for a snack whether it’s walking by a vending machine, working at a restaurant, or stopping at a gas station.

The Binge Eater
Opposite the constant eater is the binge eater. The binge eater doesn’t eat vast quantities of food for most of the time, but then has episodes when extremely large quantities of food are consumed all at once. The idea of a proper diet for the binge eater is to deny any of his/her favorites and eat as little as possible. The strategy fails, and ultimately the will power of the binge eater wanes and it’s off to the races eating anything in sight.

Binge eaters rationalize the binge by saying they’ve been good for a while and they deserve a break. Unfortunately once that break begins, it turns into something more than just a little indulgence.

The trigger for binge eating often is stress or depression

The Subconscious Eater
The last personality is the Subconscious Eater. This person eats heavily all the time and doesn’t even realize he/she has eaten too much until it is too late. Often subconscious eaters come from families with a history of unhealthy eating. It’s part of their culture so it isn’t even considered. The subconscious eater eats with his/her eyes, often selecting the largest quantities of food and shoveling it in without even taking the time to taste it.

The subconscious eater doesn’t rationalize the behavior because it is perfectly normal for him/her and there really isn’t any trigger as the subconscious eater generally eats this way most of the time.

So what’s your eating personality? As I said before, you may fit more than one of these categories, but one probably describes you better than the others. For me, I’m a subconscious eater with some tendencies toward binge eating. Knowing and understanding your eating personality is a big step toward correcting the behavior. By understanding the triggers you can learn to recognize them when they show up and that can help you to do better. You won’t get it right every time, but as time goes by and you get better and better at correcting your behavior, your habits will change and you will be the healthier for it. Good Luck.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Journal Update 12/6/09

This was quite a satisfying week! I lost back everything I gained during Thanksgiving plus another pound for good measure. I mentioned before I thought I might have been retaining water last week and it appears I was correct. Normally, I would have looked at my weight last week and decided to give up, but I knew how well I had done on my trip and I decided to push on.

My eating was pretty good all week long and I drank a lot of water (probably about 60-80 ounces each day). I did have a couple cookies early in the week (remnants from the prior week) but for the most part I stuck to my plan. In a typical day I eat 5-6 times throughout the day:
  1. 7:00AM My morning starts with oatmeal and blueberries.
  2. 9:30AM A small protein snack and a piece of fruit.
  3. 12:30AM Lunch (usually the leftovers from my previous night’s dinner) and a piece of fruit
  4. 3:00PM Another small protein snack and a piece of fruit.
  5. 6:00PM Dinner consisting of 4 ounces of protein, 1 cup vegetables, and a ½ cup of some carbohydrate
  6. 8:30PM A Light Snack – Usually a fiber bar and a cup of green tea

A few times this week I missed one of my snacks, but it didn’t seem to bother me. I think my body is getting used to eating less food each day. It used to be that if I went more than 3 hours without eating, I would be starving and end up overeating the next meal. That wasn’t the case this week.

I still didn’t exercise regularly; I came back from my trip with another cold! I’m not sure why, but this winter has been tough on me with regards to being sick. Toward the end of the week my cold was diminished so I worked out on the elliptical trainer on Friday. I got a good 30 minutes in doing an interval workout.

I really want (and need) to get going with the exercise. This week I’m going to try to get at least 3 sessions in and then go from there. I have free weights in my house and of course the elliptical trainer so I really have no excuses not to get started.

One thing I have to say is that I’m really happy with my progress so far. I know it’s only been 4 weeks and I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I’ve found a nice balance here. I’m not feeling deprived and yet I’m still losing weight regularly. I think If I can just incorporate the exercise, I’ll be good to go. Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weigh-in #4 - 12/5/09

Starting Weight: 297 lbs

Last Weigh-in: 293 lbs

Current Weigh-in: 289 lbs

Weekly Loss (Gain): 4 lbs

Total Loss: 8 lbs

Much better result than last week's though I suspect I really never gained all that weight last week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Getting Started Losing Weight

You’ve said it before time and time again… “On Monday I’m going back on my diet and lose all this weight”. But somehow it doesn’t happen. Monday rolls by, and then the next, and the next. Before you realize it, a month has gone by and nothing has changed. One of the hardest things about losing weight is just getting started. One of the reasons behind this is because most people treat the beginning of a healthy lifestyle as an end to enjoying life. Why? What was it that was so good about your life before you decided to be healthy? Was it the tight clothes you’ll miss so much? Was it that feeling of guilt after you ate that 5 gallon bucket of ice cream? The truth is we tend to believe that a change in our eating habits and leading a healthier lifestyle leads to being miserable all the time. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Below are some tips that you can use to help you get started on your own weight loss journey:
  1. Make sure you really want to do it – Are you really sure you want to make this change. Often we say yes, but our minds and our hearts are not really into it. If you don’t have the right mindset you have failed before you’ve even started. Here’s a tip; stare into the mirror every morning for a week and ask yourself if you are ready to do this. If you can’t answer yes every day for a week you are probably not ready. Also make sure you are doing this for yourself. This has to be about you; if you are doing it for someone else, no matter how noble the thought, you will be doomed to fail.
  2. Set a date – Don’t just pick next Monday, you need some time to prepare (maybe 2-4 weeks). It took you a long time to get this way, a few more weeks before getting started isn’t going to kill you. Besides, if you really want it (see item #1) then you should start building some excitement around it. If you get yourself ready and you find you still have some time to go, feel free to start early, but make sure you are all ready to go before you start.
  3. Take some measurementsRecord your weight, measure your body, and take “before” pictures. As you progress over time it will serve as reminder of where you used to be and where you never want to go again.
  4. See a doctor – I know, this is the standard fare for anyone who has ever offered advice about losing weight, but you really should do this. I’m fortunate to have no underlying health issues to deal with, but if you have health problems you may have to adjust your plan to accommodate them.
  5. Make a plan – Figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it. Set some SMART goals and figure out how many calories your body needs daily. Make a plan for exercise and figure out what adjustments you need to make in your life to accommodate the changes. How often will you weigh yourself? I wouldn’t recommend any more than once a week. Don’t pick Mondays. Even though they represent the start of a new week, Mondays are generally bad as they come right after a weekend and weekends are typically the time most people don’t eat as well as they do during the rest of the week. I weigh myself on Saturday morning for a couple reasons. First, I tend to behave really well on Friday nights because I know I have to be accountable on Saturday morning. Second, Saturday tends to be my worst day in terms of eating. By weighing in on Saturday morning, I leave myself with the entire week to work off any indulgences I might incur on Saturday. Pick a day that works best for you.
  6. Don’t forget exercise – Create 2 plans for exercise. The first should be a weekly routine that you plan on doing regularly. It doesn’t have to be a lot to start; you could plan 20 minutes of walking 3 times a week. As you progress you can add to it later or change it up to prevent boredom. The second plan should be activities you can do when you have opportunities. Like bike riding? Plan to take long bike rides once in a while. Play basketball, walk the dog, play some golf. The point is to identify activities you enjoy that can help you on your journey and then try to incorporate them as much as possible. Who knows, maybe you might find some new activities along the way that you never even thought about.
  7. Have a plan for special events – What are you going to do when your friends want to go out Friday night? How will you deal with cookouts and holiday get-togethers? As important as it is to have a plan for your daily routine, you also need to know how you plan to deal with those events that are outside your routine. For me, I try not to have more than 1 event in any given week and I focus on having fun but trying to contain the damage. Being self aware of what you are trying to do before going in makes it more likely that you will be reasonable during the event.
  8. Prepare for failure – You know that you will not lose weight every week; there will be times when you fall off the wagon. Rather than trying to trick yourself into believing this isn’t true, instead focus on how you plan on dealing with it. How many times have you fallen off the wagon mid week and then told yourself “I’ll get started again next Monday”? After that you proceed to pig out for the rest of the week making sure that you not only fell off the wagon, but then you laid there in the dirt while several other wagons drove over your bloated body. Learn to recognize that you are not and will not be perfect. Those people that pick themselves up the fastest will have a better chance of success.
  9. Don’t throw out junk food – and certainly don’t eat it all in one sitting just to get rid of it! If you throw stuff out, your mind will instantly associate those foods with being “forbidden”. Instead just stop buying them, and let them run out naturally over the course of time. This is another reason why you need some time before you get started.
  10. Don’t have “the last supper” – We’ve all done it in the past; you know your going to start losing weight so on the evening before the day you start you go on an eating binge to end all binges, eating every single one of your favorite foods. I’ve actually taken this concept to the extreme before going on binges for the whole weekend before getting started. See my posting on The Final Straw. Though my weeklong binge was not in preparation of a new diet (though it did drive me to change), it still illustrates the potential we have to do bad things in anticipation of change. Having that last binge just reinforces bad behavior. It gives us an “excuse” to behave badly in the name of something better. This is not a good way to start.
  11. Plan to allow yourself to enjoy food – There should be no foods that are “forbidden”. Remember this is a change in lifestyle, you shouldn’t feel like you’ll never be allowed to taste a pork rind ever again. Once a week I allow myself 1 meal where I can have anything I want. I usually have it later in the week and I always try to remain aware of the quantity I consume. By doing this you won’t feel deprived and you will actually enjoy that food more when you eat it. One caution, don’t treat the meal like the “last supper” and pig out just because you only get it the 1 time during the week.
  12. Make changes slowly - Make small changes over the first few weeks or months. People tend to go crazy and make huge changes when they get started. If you restrict your calories dramatically, drink 120 ounces of water each day, and exercise for 2 hours daily after years of doing none of those things, you will become so overwhelmed by the change that it will be hard to maintain. Humans are creatures of habit and breaking habits is a slow process. It takes 3 consecutive weeks (21 days) to create a new habit so don’t feel like you have to start everything at once. In my journey, I haven’t even starting exercising yet and my calorie counting has been sporadic at best. Start slow and add new habits over time for a better chance of success. Remember, this is a lifestyle change, start something slowly and build off it over time.
  13. Look for accountability and find support - Don’t keep this a secret. Most people who decide to change keep it secret because then they don’t have to explain WHEN they fail. This is a self-defeating attitude. Let everyone know what you are doing. Tell your friends and family. Be accountable to yourself but to others as well. Some people will offer their support while others will be relatively indifferent to the whole thing. Identify those people that you can lean on for support, as there will be times when you need a little push.  
  14. Identify the saboteurs - Just as important as finding support, you need to identify those who might sabotage your efforts. It should be mentioned that most of the people in your social circle will not intentionally sabotage you, but they will do it unconsciously nonetheless. Typically these people are usually highly resistant to change themselves and any change you make affects them as well. They also may have the same eating problems and don’t want to lose their “eating buddy”. You don’t have to give these people up in your life, but you need to be aware of those people, as they will make your journey tougher. Be especially on the lookout for those who offer their support but end up really being saboteurs!
  15. JUST DO IT! – Like having kids or getting a dog, it’s never going to be the perfect time. So just begin and see where it goes. Once the momentum starts it will be a lot easier to keep it going. Along the way you’ll find some things don’t work like you planned. Change them! You need to be flexible to change the things that don’t work and enhance the things that do. Learn more as you go along. You might find new activities that you enjoy that fit your new lifestyle. Your social circle may change some; you might inspire others to change their lives or you might find new friends that fit your new lifestyle better. Get started today and see where it takes you. Good luck!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Journal Update 12/1/09

So the Thanksgiving week has passed and I'm left feeling a little disappointed about my weight.  Disappointed and surprised that I somehow manage to gain 4 pounds.  Part of me thinks that the weight gain isn't real and that I might be retaining water so we will see next week when I get on the scale again.  I said in the beginning of my journey that I would remain positive through this in good times and bad so I'm not going to dwell on this week for too long. 

I waited until today to post my journal update because I wanted to have a day to reflect on my experience this week.  I've said before weight loss is as much mental as it is physical and having setbacks is one of those hurdles I need to overcome.  As I thought more about my week I came to the realization that I really did a good job controlling my eating.  Here are some of the positives that I had during my week of 2 Thanksgiving dinners and 35 hours worth of driving time:
  1. In all my travels through the holiday week, I did not stop at a single fast food place.  I also did not buy any junk food at gas stations or rest stops.  For me this is huge; when you are on the road it's too easy to eat junk whenever you make a stop.  We packed a bunch of healthy snacks in a cooler so when I got hungry I didn't need to stop and get something unhealthy.  The closest I came to eating fast food was a 6" veggie sub from Subway in the last leg of my trip.
  2. I drank a lot of water - I drank at least 80 ounces of water every day while I was away.  It meant a few extra stops along the way, but that was ok since we had our dog with us and she enjoyed the stops as well.  I did drink a couple Starbucks coffees and I had a few glasses of wine at dinner time, but for the most part I was drinking water.
  3. I did not over-eat at any of the meals I had - I mentioned in a previous post that my family and I were going to Chinese Buffet on Wednesday.  Well at that dinner I had 1 plate with some sushi and 1 more regular size plate.  For dessert I had fruit and a little pudding.  On Thanksgiving I had 1 plate of food and on Thanksgiving #2 I did the same again.  For desserts, I went with moderation.  Instead of having 2 or 3 pieces of pie, I cut small slivers from each kind to sample.  Instead of cookies I ate fruit.  I'm not going to pretend that I ate only healthy foods, but the point is when I was done with each meal I didn't feel like a blimp.
  4. I actually exercised...one day - On Thursday morning I took advantage of the hotel gym and worked out for over an hour.  I spent 15 minutes on a stationary bike, 30 minutes lifting weights, and another 20 minutes walking/running on a treadmill.
So you can see why I'm a little puzzled as to how I could have gained so much weight in just a week.  I would have understood if I had stayed at my current weight, but I did not eat enough to gain that many pounds.  Did my metabolism slow down from all the driving?  I suppose that's possible.  Or maybe I'm retaining a lot of water.  If so I should see the weight come right back off this week, so time will tell on that one.  It doesn't really matter because I know that if I had eaten on this trip like I have on trips past, things could've been a lot worse. 

Part of this journey is recognizing that events are going to happen that will make it hard to lose weight.  If I can do really well during the normal weeks and contain the damage during the non-routine times, I think I'll be in pretty good shape.  People tend to think of weight loss as a linear thing (I'll lose a pound a week for the year and then be 52 pounds lighter).  That just isn't the case.  There's going to be times when the weight comes off easily and there will be times when it won't come off at all.  The idea is to keep going and not give up when it gets hard because that's what I've always done in the past.  I can't tell you how many times I've been on a diet for 4-6 weeks only to stop once the weight loss slows down.  This time I want to get over that hump and keep going so I can hopefully reach my goal. 

So sow I've had my first bump in the road and it hasn't shaken me.  I'm back at home and back into my normal routine.  Hopefully it will be a really good week.  Wish me luck.