This blog of mine and a bonus fat update

I’ve decided that it’s time to give the entire site an overhaul. As groovy as the Cooper black logo is, the overall design of the site is stale and a bit cluttered, as some sections have been neglected and others are a bit too buried.

I also need to find a way to make the running posts optional. Or maybe start a running blog. And then start running again.

My current thought is something like this:

  • Come up with a new compact logo that can sit in the top-left
  • Remove the entire set of menu bar items along the top
  • Add a left sidebar with simple links to all the usual stuff (archives, etc.)
  • Have “noteworthy items” in the right sidebar
  • Continue to post the usual nonsense for the actual blog part in the middle
  • Try to allow for a “customized feed” so people can skip stuff of little interest to anyone but me, like my running updates (or maybe post them elsewhere, like in a journal or a private/separate blog)

This is going to take a while, and I’m going to try to make it work with my current theme, GeneratePress, because I have grown so used to it (and it works well). For now, I will be frequently playing around with different fonts and things that are easy to change on the fly.

BONUS FAT UPDATE: I have hit a high of 179.7 pounds. This is ominously close to 180 pounds, which would be a bit devastating to hit psychologically. Today I weighed in almost two hours earlier, which usually results in the weight being higher. I watched the numbers flick past 180 before settling back to…179.7 pounds (again).

This week I have returned to work and I have experienced an odd combination of stress, frustration and simple boredom. I have partaken of crackers, but not excessively so.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten very good at not eating anything after dinner. Yay on that. I am also drinking more water, as I find more than a little (diet) soda now seems to be giving me heartburn.

Further incentive on losing weight: I have a bunch of old t-shirts that still look great but are too snug to wear right now. I tried on a pair of cotton shorts I normally wear in the summer–they are a size 31 waist, which is one size higher than my usual 30–and could not do up the button. It was physically impossible. I was embarrassed. But I vowed not to buy new clothes that would fit–I’m not going to backslide and give myself an out in the battle against fat.

I will lose the weight. Just weight and see (ho ho).

March 2021 weight loss report: Down 0.7 pounds

Even though I am down for the month, the reality is my weight was pretty much unchanged for the last 30 days or so.

I started the month unusually high (178.9 pounds), which made the bar for losing weigh correspondingly low. In reality, I hovered at or just above 178 pounds for pretty much the entire month, dipping slightly below on just a few days.

Clearly my restrained snacking has not worked as well as I’d have liked. It also occasionally hasn’t been as restrained as it could be. But I have avoided the following in the past month:

  • Donuts
  • Cookies
  • Pop Tarts
  • Entire cakes or even partial cakes

I must work harder on keeping the snacking down, though, plus some daily exercise might help to goose my body toward shedding some fat, or at least gaining a little more muscle. Or something.

Anyway, it could have been better, but it also could have been worse, so I will take this month as the wash it was and try to do better in April, no foolin’.

Stats:

March 1: 178.9 pounds
March 31: 178.2 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 178.2 pounds (up 4 pounds)

And the body fat (now year to date rather than just the past month):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
March 31: 23.7% (42.3 pounds of fat) (up 3.2 pounds)

February 2021 weight loss report: Up 1.3 pounds

Fat fat fat.

Although I went up a not-terrible 1.3 pounds month over month, this does not tell the full calorie-rich tale.

The more interesting stat is that since the start of the year I have acquired three solid (or perhaps jelly-like) pounds of body fat. This is not good.

At one point I basically gave up and just started eating whatever. Except donuts, since none are convenient. Cookies? Yes. Crackers? Yep. Pop-Tarts? They want on sale and I laid claim to them.

The result is that I have now undone all but about 10 pounds of the weight I shed in my Big Year of Weight Loss back in 2008 (and remembering, too, that I actually dipped even lower in subsequent years).

Tomorrow is a new month and I will be going snack-free, except for fruit and vegetables. I will not eat giant, fatty meals. I will keep walking and resume running.

And hopefully my weight will finally trend back downward again.

We shall see.

Stats:

February 1: 176.5 pounds
February 28: 177.8 pounds (up 1.3 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 177.8 pounds (up 3.6 pounds)

And the body fat (now year to date rather than just the past month):

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
February 28: 23.7% (42.1 pounds of fat) (up 3 pounds)

January 2021 weight loss report: Up 2.4 pounds

It’s a new year but the same old fat.

I started January with good intentions, but the combination of plantar fasciitis (keeping me from running or even walking very often) and a lot of unstructured free time took its toll.

Specifically, it made me fat. I gave up and gave in and while I remain donut-free, I indulged in the worst sort of cookiepalooza. I ate boxes of them. Boxes!

The results are not surprising.

However, I’ve thought of this as the beginning of a purge, in which I will do the following:

  • No more snacking (healthy snacks like bananas are OK)
  • No more soda or carbonated beverages. This includes diet soda, which I think is just making me feel gross. Back to good old water and the occasional sugar-free Gatorade or glass of milk.

We’ll see if I can stick to this. I really have no excuse not to, but that hasn’t stopped me before.

I’m also going to try keeping a daily journal (not on the blog here) to see if that helps keep me honest or honest-like or even honest adjacent.

But let’s stop avoiding the subject and consider the following. After being up a bit in December, I am up quite a bit more this month, topping out today at 176.6 pounds.

I was 174.2 pounds on January 1st, meaning I am up 2.4 pounds for the year to date.

Ugh.

Here’s to a hopefully slimmer 2021.

Stats:

January 1: 174.2 pounds
January 31: 176.6 pounds (up 2.4 pounds)

Year to date: From 174.2 to 176.6 pounds (up 2.4 pounds)

And the body fat:

January 1: 22.4% (39.1 pounds of fat)
January 31: 22.1% (39 pounds of fat) (down 0.1 pound)

2021, the year of fat

It shouldn’t take much effort to lose weight in January because I tipped the old-e-scale at a hefty 174.2 pounds this morning.

I’m blaming the mid-evening pizza. And chocolate milk. And general lack of activity.

But this year will be different!

In theory.

Also, these are healthy because they’re “low fat”, right? I’m buying a case of them at Costco to help me lose weight this year.

December 2020 weight loss report: Up 1.9 pounds

Well, poop.

The bad news is I did gain weight both for the month and the year (I jumped 0.8 pounds overnight, which didn’t help).

The good (?) news is that the wright gain was only 1.7 pounds. Stretched over a year, this is pretty close to a rounding error, albeit a big, pudgy one.

The definitely not good news is that I went from 36.1 pounds of body fat to 39. I have been trading my muscle for fat, which would be great if I was a bear and planning to hibernate through the winter.

For 2021, it will not take much effort to improve. When I look back on the year, I can see that I managed to get into a holding pattern, so if I nudge myself a little, and apply some consistency, I may actually see my weight not only drop below 170 pounds again, but possibly keep dropping.

A boy can dream.

As my resolutions post attests, though, I am aiming at a more modest goal of 160 pounds for 2021–I officially have 13.5 pounds to go.

The stats:

December 1: 171.6 pounds
December 31: 173.5 pounds (up 1.9 pounds)

Year to date: From 171.8 to 173.5 pounds (up 1.7 pounds)

And the body fat:

December 1: 22.1% (38 pounds of fat)
December 31: 22.5% (39 pounds of fat) (up 1 pound)

More on the pandemic

Just kidding. Most of the news lately is pretty terrible, with cases skyrocketing all over the place. Forty-six people died in BC just over the past weekend. Granted one of them was 103 years old, but still.

The two bright spots are local mask usage (now mandatory in all public indoor spaces) is pretty high and there are multiple vaccines that appear to be effective and may start getting distributed as early as the spring. Yes, it’s only fall now, but in pandemic time, the spring feels a lot closer than it actually is.

Some have referred to those who refuse to wear masks as “maskholes” but I don’t like it. It’s the wrong combination of cutesy and angry.

And speaking of masks, today I got the pair of masks I ordered from Outdoor Research–yes, the place that is also soon delivering me my jaunty yellow cap. They are almost but not quite too big (I have a small face), but they actually look nice, feel good and can be equipped with paper filters for better protection. I can’t say I’m excited to wear one, but I’m pretty sure it will be an improvement over what I’m using now.

This concludes YAPP (Yet Another Pandemic Post). I really hope in November 2021 I will not have any need or desire to discuss a pandemic.

November 2020 weight loss report: Down 1.7 pounds

Being down for the month might be cause for celebration normally, but alas, these are not normal times.

As it turned out, I porked up right at the start of the month, which meant being down was a pretty easy goal as long as I didn’t switch to an all-donut diet (which I did not).

I only managed to stay under 170 pounds three times during the month, a dismal showing after October. There was snacking. Plentiful snacking.

I’m going to try to go completely snack-free in December. Such an effort would normally be considered folly for December, but I’m not exactly feeling the holiday cheer this time around.

Small bright side: I am still down overall for the year–by a little!

Larger not-bright side: My body fat shot up 1.8%.

Stats:

November 1: 172.4 pounds
November 30: 170.7 pounds (down 1.7 pounds)

Year to date: From 171.8 to 170.7 pounds (down 1.1 pounds)

And the body fat:

November 1: 20.5% (35.3 pounds of fat)
November 30: 22.3% (38 pounds of fat) (up 2.7 pounds)

Haiku for seasonal allergies

So you try to breathe
But nothing gets through your nose
Allergies are great

Okay, even by my low standards, that haiku basically sucked.

But who even knows if they’re allergies or something gone totally defective in my sinuses? It’s funny in a way, because as annoying as it is to have my nose almost perpetually plugged up, I’ve kind of gotten used to it. I guess this proves the old adage that you can get used to almost anything.

And addicted to nasal spray.

No, not addicted. I can stop any time. Any season. A season without allergies. The best season.

That’s it, I’m going to bed. Or have a bath. Something to take my mind off my nose.

* Possibly not an old adage

Snack-free November 2020 Days 4-8: There will be snacking

I suddenly and somewhat strangely fell off the blogging wagon after Inktober (also October) ended, and I am not entirely sure why–but I may speculate in another post.

But let’s talk about snacking. I have had some decent days and some bad days. It’s kind of balanced out but the end result is my weight is frozen right back around 171-172 pounds, instead of under 170 and continuing to trend downward.

Tomorrow is Monday, the start of a new work week, but I have booked the week off, so I am going to make sure I stick to healthy meals and little to no snacking OR ELSE. The good news is most of the snacks have already been consumed, so I just need to avoid buying more when I’m at the store. I can do this.

I’m reasonably sure I can do this.

And the haiku, this time about actual snacks:

Seldom sated by Satanic salty snacks

Potato chips yum
How can you only eat one?
Entire bags gone

Snack-free November 2020, Day 3: A day late, a pound short

Yes, I did some snacking yesterday and shamefully did not post. But I was also down one pound this morning, which is both weird and good.

I’ve been better so far today. I had a piece of fruit!

More later. And now a haiku on the U.S. election:

In Which America Reveals It Has Lost Its Mind and is OK With That

The U.S. voted
Sixty-three million for Trump
Burn everything down

Snack-free November 2020, Day 2: Not snack-free

Pretty much the same as yesterday snack-wise, so I won’t repeat the full list here. I was a little more active. We’ll see if the scale screams in the morning. I was down 0.4 pounds today, which was nice.

I suspect the snacking will diminish as the week progresses. Really!

Today’s haiku (about National Novel Writing Month, about which I will write more soon) is below.

50,000 words or less

Write a short novel
You have twenty-eight days now
Do this? Good fiction.