Come in, hang out, be inspired (hopefully).

Welcome one and all to The Diary of a Chunky White Guy. I hope this blog will keep me inspired in my weight loss goals, but I also hope to help others who are struggling with their weight, whether they're ten pounds or two hundred overweight. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not a psychologist, but perhaps by posting my struggles, victories and viewpoints, I can make a difference in someone's life.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

State Of The Weight Address or "How Long Have You Been On That Bike?"

So yesterday while I was at the gym I get a phone call. It was my good friend and fellow weight loss blogger, Jeff (

"Hey man, what's going on?" said Jeff.

"Oh, not much, I'm just here at the gym. I'm on the bike today."

"The bike, huh?" Jeff queried. "Did you just get started? You're not even breathing hard."

"Let's see, I've been on here..."

At that point, I moved my sweat towel from over the bike timer.

"Twenty eight minutes."

Twenty eight minutes on the bike and I wasn't even breathing hard. Not too bad for a fat guy. I hadn't gotten to the gym much in the past week and a half because of all the play rehearsal I had been doing. I was worried that when I went in there that I would have lost a step. Turns out, not only didn't I lose a step, I actually improved my time spent exercising. The last time I was at the gym I did thirty minutes, yesterday I pushed it to forty. Even at forty minutes, I wasn't that tired, but I could feel the lactic acid building up in my side, and quite frankly, the seat on the bike was starting to hurt my butt. Those machines are not built for larger folks, which I find sort of weird since, theoretically, we are the ones that should be using them.

I started this blog on August 5th, and in twenty-four days I have managed to go from barely being able to do ten non stop minutes on the bike to a whopping forty minutes, stopping only briefly to adjust my position on the seat or adjust my feet in the pedal straps.

On top of that, the eating portion of my lifestyle change is still going well. I'm fairly sure I'm eating less than 2000 calories a day, and I don't usually feel hungry or like I'm being deprived. I cheated a tiny bit today and had some barbecued ribs for lunch, but I didn't eat the potato salad or the rice dressing. I basically had four small ribs and a small portion of baked beans. I've also not had a non diet soda in 24 days, and maybe only two or three diet sodas. Mostly I've been drinking water. A LOT of water. I have a bottle that holds forty ounces and I go through probably three of those a day.

I feel better, I seem to be more energetic, I have a higher tolerance for the heat, and I feel good about myself. Today I'm wearing a shirt that I haven't worn in probably six months. It's good day.

For those of you out there who are on the fence about starting a new lifestyle, please come down of the fence and jump in. It's not as hard as you imagine it will be, and the benefits are fantastic. If I'm feeling like this after less than a month, I can't imagine how I'm going to feel in six or twelve. It's worth the effort.

I'm also happy to report that my good friend Jeff just celebrated a milestone in his lifestyle change. He was able to buckle his seat belt for the first time in months. Good on you, sir. I'm proud of you.

Today's moral: The best things come to those who get off their butts and go after them.

Until next time, dragon slayers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This One Kind Of Makes Ya Think or What Kind Of Fencing?

Hey everyone. I don't have too much to report on personally today, but I did run across an interesting blog today and thought I'd share. Go ahead and click the link, read the story and then continue with this one. The blog is by one of my favorite writers on the web, Ms. Andrea Rothe. Her blogs are always interesting and honest, and quite frankly amazing pieces of thought. The title of her blog is a touch indelicate, I know, but her content is amazing. So check the link out, then get back here for my thoughts.

Okay, glad you're back. How about that story, eh?

He trains six to seven hours a DAY. Every day. And he's in a wheelchair.

What the hell have I been doing with my body all this time? It functions normally, and I gripe and moan if I get a bit sweaty. This man has overcome so many obstacles and so many challenges and has a physically debilitating disease.

This story really made me take a look at what I'm doing currently in this new lifestyle, and it made me ask myself how much more I could do. I said in an earlier blog that with a sound mind and good attitude anything was possible. Rick Zengler proves that. He's just an amazing, amazing guy. Thanks to Andrea for that story, and thanks to Rick for being an inspiration to everyone.

So that's it for today everyone. Today's moral? Maybe doing 45 minutes on the exercise bike instead of 30 isn't really that hard.

Until next time, dragon slayers.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm Melting, I'm Melting, Look At Me, I'm Melting or "Hold On, Let Me Pull Up My Pants"

"Throw back the shoulders, let the heart sing, let the eyes flash, let the mind be lifted up, look upward and say to yourself... Nothing is impossible!"
~ Norman Vincent Peale

I'm shrinking.


But surely.

I'm shrinking.

It's cool when hard work pays off. I noticed yesterday during rehearsal that my pants kept falling down. This is a good thing usually, but when you're trying to act and you still have a script in your hand, it can be a bit awkward trying to hitch up the old britches while you're moving from point to point on the stage. It's all good though, I'll take the inconvenience of pants slippage any day, as long as it means my lifestyle change is having an effect.

Other things I've noticed: I can now climb both flights of stairs at work without getting out of breath. This is a biggie. My energy level has increased, as has my endurance. If the rehearsals for this play had been going on a month ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to handle the physical aspect of rehearsing in a sauna and all of the different movements we're having to do.

I haven't gone back and weighed in because I don't really want to, and I don't feel it's necessary at this point. I know I'm moving in a positive direction, and that will suffice for the time being. My very short term goal is to be able to fit comfortably in my Lennie costume when we perform "Of Mice and Men" on September 10th. The last time I wore it was February of last year. I tried it on earlier this year and it was a bit snug. I have a feeling I'm going to make it. I've also noticed that my dress shirt for work is getting considerably more loose.

I haven't made it to the gym due to an insane rehearsal schedule, but we were able to rearrange rehearsals so that we're not busy every night during the week. This will allow me to get back into the gym starting tomorrow. I've been missing it, and I just can't seem to make myself get up at dark thirty in the morning. But my change in eating combined with the massive amount of movement and sheer sweat loss that happens during rehearsals have been an acceptable substitute. I actually sweat more in that building than I do in a Body Pump class. That being said, I look forward to being able to Pump it up again.

Well, that's pretty much it on my end for right now. Before I go however, I feel compelled to post the following poem. Most of you have probably read it, but it never hurts to read something like this again. It's my dad's favorite poem and I'm actually looking at a copy that he got for Christmas a few years ago. It's mounted on a wooden frame and it's written on yellow parchment that looks like it has been burned around the edges. I find inspiration in this on almost a daily basis. I hope you can too. I put my favorite part in bold.

Until next time, Dragon Slayers


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Did Popeye's Always Smell That Good? or No, I Don't Want Any Of Your Chicken

So I lied. I said yesterday that a new blog would be coming this morning, but I didn't have time to get to it. So, it's now afternoon, and I've taken a lunch break and figured I'd get a blog in now because tonight I have a feeling I'm going to be pooped.

"Why?" You may be asking.

Tonight is a three hour rehearsal. A three hour DANCE rehearsal. I'm going prepared tonight though. No jeans this time, just my loose (and getting looser) fitting Marvel pajama pants, a loose fitting shirt and plenty of water. It's ON. So, no gym today. I'll be hitting up Body Pump tomorrow morning, however, then a DANCE rehearsal from 10-4! It's gonna be...poop.

But that's not the reason for this blog entry.

Cigarette smokers or former cigarette smokers, I need to ask you guys a question. Rather, I need to present a scenario and I'd like some responses on if what I'm experiencing is similar to cigarette withdrawal.

Why does all fast food smell SO GOOD to me right now? I swear, it's like I've gone mutant and gained a dog's sense of smell. Every time I pass by a McD's, BK, Wendy's, and especially Popeye's, my nostrils are filled with the delectable aroma of meat. Greasy, greasy meat. And it smells sooo good. I thought abstaining from fast food would get easier the longer I went with out it. Nuh-uh. It's gotten to the point where I have to make sure I'm on the opposite side of a drive thru entrance so I'm not tempted to cross traffic and get a big ol hunk of fast food badness.

It's even worse on Thursdays, specifically yesterday.

On Thursdays, I take my aging grandmother (Maw-Maw) to her hair appointment, and also take her around town to run various errands for her. She likes to get lunch when we are in town. Yesterday she wanted Popeye's. She's 87, so I didn't want to go "NO! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT'S GONNA BE LIKE FOR ME? IT'S GOING TO SUCK SO MUCH!" so I obliged her request. For the entire ride home, I had to fight the urge to rip open her back of chicken and take a bite out of the leg. Seriously. I had delusions of pieces of tasty chicken eating other pieces of tasty chicken covered in gravy. I think I started developing an twitch. When we got home, I had to carry it into the house for her (along with her purse, but never mind that).

I threw the bag on the counter and immediately started preparing my boneless, skinless chicken breast for grilling. Little black pepper, white pepper, Tony's, garlic powder and into the Foreman Grill it went.

Best. Chicken. Ever.

But, I must confess. I'm only human.

She gave me her biscuit. She didn't want it. I took it.

It was delicious. And awful.

Did you know that Popeye's biscuits have 250 calories in them? I do now. That one freaking biscuit had more calories in it than my breakfast that morning. I won't be doing that again. I needed a reminder, apparently, that you pay for what you put into your body. I had a lapse, a momentary loss of sanity. It shan't occur again!

So, is what I'm going through similar to cigarette withdrawal? If so, all you quitters out there have my respect. You guys rock.

Today's moral? Forgive me, for I have sinned. My penance? DANCE!

Until next time, dragon slayers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dancing In A Muggy Warehouse or You Don't Always Have To Go To The Gym

I'm tired, I'm sweaty and I smell like the devil's armpit.

"Body Pump?", you ask?

"No.", I reply. "Choreography."

For those of you unaware, I am currently involved in the Acadiana Repertory Theatre's first show in their "ART After Dark" series, a play entitled NightFears. It's a really neat play, kind of weird and esoteric, a type of show that I've never really done before. It's very lyrical and dreamlike, and there's dancing.

Yep. The dancing that you do with your feet and legs. The dancing that requires rhythm and coordination. Not my strongest skill set. We did a read-through of the play tonight, followed by our intro the the choreography of the show.

Our Choreographer is a sweet young lady named Stacey, and tonight she showed us the basic steps that we will be going through for different scenes. It wasn't very intense, but we are going to be performing this show in an old warehouse in downtown Lafayette. It was hot and muggy. I felt like a tool when I was trying to do what Stacey was showing us, but she said we all did well (I hope that included me). It will be interesting to see how my (slowly) increasing level of fitness impacts my ability to feel comfortable while dancing. Tonight I felt weird and out of place.

In other news, because of the sheer volume of rehearsals we have for this show, I will be unable to go to the gym in the afternoons. That means I'm going to have to get up reaaaly early in the mornings to make it to my Body Pump classes. This will be the real test of my devotion. I hate getting up super early for anything, and most AM Body Pump classes start at 5:30. IN THE MORNING.

Le Sigh.

In other, other news, I'm still going strong with my dietary goals. I'm starting to miss fast food less and less, but I still sometimes have to resist the urge to cross traffic, pull into a McDonald's and order a mess of chicken nuggets. More on that in another blog, however.

So the moral of this post? If you can't stand the heat in the muggy warehouse during choreography rehearsal, maybe you shouldn't wear jeans. Or clothes. But that would just be obscene.

Now I'm going to take a shower.

Until next time, dragon slayers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Been A Successful Weekend

Hey everyone. Sorry for the lack of updates these past couple of days. Friday my internet was buggy and yesterday was a bit crazy. I've had a good weekend though, hanging out with Jeff and Summer, and seeing the strides that Jeff is making in his weight loss management has been super cool.

On Saturday I walked into my brother's house, and the remnants of a birthday party abounded. Chocolate cake, pizza and donuts abounded. I quickly fended off the advance of Bad Decision Casey by eating a blueberry Special K Bar. I got to go swimming with my brother's bunch, my brother from another mother and his little girl. Later, my bro cooked up some grilled chicken breasts, corn and baked beans. A good time was had by all. After dinner, I said my goodbyes and proceeded to hang with Jeff and Summer, we went down to The Sports Pit and rocked people's faces off with our karaoke. And then...

It was like two AM and we were really hungry. We tried to go to KD's, a local diner with some healthy menu options, but there was no way we were getting in there, as it was far too busy and far too small of a building for all of us late nighters to get in. So, we had to go with our other option, IHOP.

It is possible to eat healthy-ish at two AM at an IHOP. I got some Rosemary Chicken. It was quite good.

Today, we hung out, went to the movies (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is FANTASTIC), and got an unintended bit of exercise when we discovered that after the movie, the mall's main doors were closed, and we had to walk around the perimeter of the entire mall in the heat in order to get back to the truck. We got home, Jeff made an excellent grilled chicken salad, and we're all now here sitting around visiting and posting in our blogs. (At least, I'm posting in mine.)

So, fellow dragon slayers, it's been a good weekend. The moral for the past couple of days: It's good to have folks around who are willing to go the distance with you.

As an added bonus, I've inspired my first person! My brother, Corey has decided to go get on the treadmill and lift weights every day in order to lose some "I quit smoking" weight. Good job brother, love ya!

Until next time dragon slayers. Until next time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Not much going on today

Hey everyone, this will be a short entry. Not much of note happened today, but I still want to keep in the habit of posting every day. I did have one major triumph today, however. I managed to do a solid 30 minutes on a bike without stopping. Considering I could do barely 10 just a week ago, I was quite proud of myself.

I'm completely over the "finding out my weight" thing, it took all day yesterday and a good portion of today, but I think I've managed to get it out of the forefront, and get back to business as usual. Thanks again to everyone who supported me in that venture.

Hmm, today's moral? I suppose it could be "celebrate your victories, even the small ones". Not too much to go on.

I see I've ballooned to eleven readers this week, including my friend and fellow Flogging Molly concert goer, The Bear Monk. Glad to see you here, sir.

Well, I suppose that's all I've got for this evening. Hopefully I'll be a little more inspired tomorrow. Tomorrow is Body Pump again if I can get home from my Lafayette meeting in time, and I'll be in Lake Charles this weekend, so I'll probably work out at the gym on Saturday before I head to LC. Sunday..I'm sure I'll think of something as far as exercise goes. Me, my hetero-lifemate Jeff and his lovely girlfriend Summer are going to go check out Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. It should be great.

Until tomorrow everyone, take care of yourselves.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm sorry nurse, I weigh how much? or ARRRGHHH!

Well, I did it. I slayed a dragon. A pretty big dragon, as far as dragons go.

But I got a little singed in the process.

Fairly early this morning I get to the doctor's office that I had mentioned yesterday, find a parking space, and walk quite a long way into the medical plaza. I take an elevator up to the second floor, find the office amid myriad other offices, and speak to the receptionist. She tells me that she'd be more than happy to let me use their scale, and would I mind waiting for a minute. I waited for several. After a while, a nurse comes into the room and whisks me to the back of the office and puts me on...a regular manual scale. They only go to 350. This is why I was seeking out this particular office, because supposedly they had a scale that could go higher. I mentioned this to the nurse and she informs me that the digital scale no longer works.


Not k nowing what to do, I worked for a little while in that town, then decided to look up weight management clinics. I figure if anyone would have a scale to fit a Chunky White Guy, it would be them. I found one a couple of towns over, drove out there, worked for a while then decided to pay the weight management clinic a visit. I tell the receptionist what's going on, and she says I can use their electronic fancy schmancy BMI scale for five dollars. Way to take advantage of a fat man in need. I agree to the fee, fill out some information for them to put in the scale, and wait in the lobby for another nurse. All this time, I am just dreading stepping on the thing. After what seems like an eternity, a friendly nurse escorts me back to her office, instructs me to take off my shoes and socks and climb aboard this big white scale. I close my eyes and wait for the outcome.

Nothing happens.

The kind nurse instructs me to step off, then step on again. I close my eyes and wait for the outcome.

Nothing happens again.

She assures me that the scale must be malfunctioning and has me go to another room with another, less fancy scale. I climb on board, and this time I don't close my eyes. I wish I would have.


Yikes. Nowhere ever in my wildest dream did I ever think I weighed that much. I was shell shocked. I sat in a chair while I put my socks and shoes on, and the nurse invited me to become a member of their clinic. I told her "no thanks for right now, but maybe some other time", I took some literature that they gave me and went to the pay window. There was no charge because "the scale didn't work". I must have looked really, really sad.

I went out to my truck and immediately all the thoughts that I knew I would have started poking around in my head: "lazy", "failure", "fat", "sloppy". All of em and more. I tried to keep in mind that I was changing my lifestyle, but nothing was making it better, so I did what every grown man does in a time of difficulty.

I called my mother.

I told her what was going on, she said she figured that I weighed more than I thought I did. She had guessed 435. I wish she had been right. We talked for a long time, and as usual, she made me feel better. I then got a facebook message from my "invisible friend" who has been supporting me since I started this venture. She made me feel better, and I went about the rest of my day.

It's so easy for things to get away from us. Money, relationships, weight, or just life in general. If you're not on top of your game, taking absolute care of certain things, disaster can and will hit. This feels like a mini disaster to me, but as my invisible friend put it, "it's just a number, it's not you. And there's nothing you can do about it besides what you're already doing".

So what did I do?

I went to Body Pump today at 5:30, got in the room with all the ladies (and one other dude, the husband of one of the ladies) and worked my butt off. My chest and arms hurt like hell, but I was able to do more today than I did on Monday. Progress. All I can do is try to make progress. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I just have to tuck my chin in, take a deep breath and keep running. Keep running and not look back at the past, but with my eyes straight ahead staring at the future, a healthier, awesomer me.

I couldn't have done this today without all of your help. My faithful few readers and responders really helped me yesterday. I felt all of you pushing me into that doctor's office this morning, and it felt good to know you all were behind me. It still feels good. So I dedicate the moral of today's blog to you all (and my invisible pal):

When you're going off to slay a dragon, you'd best bring some friends with you. You never know when you'll need help.

Thanks, fellow dragon slayers. You guys complete me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bawk Bawk Bawk Bawk Bawk

I was hesitant in posting this entry tonight, because thus far I've been able to celebrate my victories for the past week. I can do no such thing today. However, in order to be intellectually honest to myself and to anyone who might stumble across my musings, I have to post my failures as well as my successes.

I'm a chicken.

Bawk. Bawk. Bawk.

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to go get my weight checked out today, and I had full intentions of doing so. Yesterday. Today, I pulled up to the doctor's office, stared at the building for a while, then drove away. I told myself that I was going to come back later in the day when they weren't so busy, but I knew deep down that I had chickened out.

Bawk. Bawk. Bawk.

I'm afraid. I'm afraid to hear a number. I'm afraid that the number will start with a "4". I'm afraid to have to face the stark, cold reality of what I've done to myself over the years. I know I'm taking steps to change, and I feel really good about myself for taking those steps, and I'm afraid that hearing that little three digit number will set me back and make me feel bad again. I'm afraid that the not so old me will hear that number and decide that it's not worth it. I'm afraid of Bad Decision Casey showing up and throwing a wrench into this whole plan.

Bawk. Bawk. Bawk.

One of the whole points of this blog is that I have a pretty acute sense of self awareness, and I want to use that as a tool to help myself and others. In this case though, my self awareness is not an asset. I know how I react to bad news, and I know the feeling of worthlessness that I get whenever I feel like I've let myself or someone else down. I know where that path goes, and I want more than anything to not go down that path.

Bawk. Bawk. Bawk.

It's weird. I'm not afraid of much. I consider myself a pretty brave guy, and I have no problem standing up for myself or my beliefs. But I'm afraid of a number. A silly little number. I think it's because you can't argue with a number. Numbers are cold. They are hard. And they are real. If that number is out of the range that I think it's in, there will be cold, empirical data representing my failure pre-lifestyle change. I should have gotten that number before I started. I don't think I would have been afraid to learn it then. Now it seems like it's going to be a step backward.

Maybe I'm being silly. I don't know. This is just how I feel at this point. Do I really need to find out, or can I measure my successes in inches lost, range of motion, cardiovascular fitness and general feeling of well-being?


Do I HAVE to do this. Is this a hurdle I need to jump in my journey in order to proceed forward? I feel like it is. I feel like I need to know where I'm starting from so that I can have a better road map to where I'm going. I want to. I need to.

I'm just not sure if I can.

So what's today's moral? Momma said there'd be days like this, there'd be days like this Momma said. Also in the words of Scarlett O'Hara: Tomorrow is another day.

Let's see what tomorrow brings. Perhaps tomorrow I can slay this dragon. There's always hope.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My First Day Of Body Pump, or: ARRRGGHHH!


Ow ow.


Man oh man did I get a butt kicking today.

Today was the first day of going to an exercise class known as Body Pump. For those of you not in the know, it's a combination of cardio aerobics and weight lifting set to music. The classes are an hour long, and during that hour you begin to have a slight smidgeon of an idea of what hell is like. You start to really appreciate the idea of damnation. We did lunges, squats, bench presses, push ups, crunches, dead lifts and a multitude of other exercises with and without the barbell.

Did I mention I was the only dude in the class?

Yeah. My dignity took a slight punch when I saw girls smaller than my legs lifting more weight than me, and who had better form on their push ups. The instructor was super cool, however and was patient in explaining what to do, so I'd have good form and not hurt myself.

It was intense. More intense than I remember from way back in 2006. Right now my legs are shaky, my arms are kinda trembly and I am not looking forward to the soreness which I will be experiencing tomorrow.


I feel GOOD. Really good. I know the work I put in today was the next step in my journey and that combined with regular cardio work, I am going to get to where I need to be. It's amazing to me that something which hurts so much can make you feel like a million bucks afterwords. Wednesday, it will be one week that I've been working out, and I absolutely love it. My whole day revolves around going to the gym when I get off work. I look forward to it, I crave the feeling I get knowing that I'm doing something for myself that no one else could do for me. I am resolute, and I am strong, and I am sore. So sore. But happy. I'm actually looking forward to my next Body Pump class, which will probably be Wednesday. I want to go back in there, pick up that freaking dumbbell and own that workout. It probably won't happen this week or next, but I will master this class. I will be the Body Pumpingest sonofagun you've ever seen. I'll look back at this blog post and laugh in the face of my ancient soreness, and I'll rest comfortably in the fact that I achieved my goals.

What's the moral of today's story? Some say pain is weakness leaving the body. I say pain is pretty much just pain, but you don't have to be a sissy about it.

Now, as promised, I here is the recipe for those delicious little pumpkin carrot loaves that Julie prepared this past weekend. This is actually a muffin recipe, but you can put the batter into small bread loaves if you so desire. They are quite tasty.

1 cup pumpkin (I've only been able to find it at Super 1 year round)
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp oil (while extra virgin olive oil is healthiest, canola bakes better)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated carrots (I chop mine in a small electric chopper)
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

Beat together pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and egg.

Add in carrots.

In a separate bowl, blend together flour, salt, soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to the pumpkin mixture.

Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes.

That's it for tonight everyone. Tomorrow should be interesting, because I'm going to go visit the office of the doctor that my pal Jeff visited so I can see if they'll let me borrow their scale. I want to know just where I stand as far as my weight goes. I'm kinda scared. I'll let you all know what happens.

Until then, stay safe, stay happy, and be nice to each other.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Winning One Battle At A Time

Some great happenings are going on here in Operation No More Chunk. I received two chances this weekend to prove my mettle and determination to stick to this newfangled lifestyle, and I'm proud to say I came out swinging! The sordid details follow.

On Friday I ventured out to the home of my friends Melody and John. It was Melody's birthday and she had invited a few of us out to hang and celebrate her arrival on the planet some mumblemumble years ago. I love hanging with Melody, John and their three awesome kids, so I was delighted to head over there and chill for a while. Melody was even kind enough to make sure that I had something to munch on that was conducive to my new dietary plans. She's such a sweetheart. You see, this party was a...dessert party.

Break time kids. As an aside, I love sweets. Cake, pie, doughnuts, candy, whatever. I'm a fan. Anyhoo, back to the story.

Melody had prepared a wonderful fruit pizza and a cake. I did not partake of the cake. This is known as "Small Victory Number One". Normally, I'd have been all over a cake. I looove cake. Mmmm..cake.


Then our friends Julie and Jay show up with their two kids, and Julie has prepared this healthy little loaf of what I think was banana bread, but I can't remember. It was fantastic! I had a little of that. But then she brought out some sort of chocolate cherry whipped cream monstrosity. It was one of the most beautiful and horrendous things I had ever seen in my life. Julie informed me that each slice had like 900 calories in it. I wept on the inside. The Chocolate Sin Pie just sat there getting all melty and good. I have to admit blog fans, I tried it. But. But. I tried the smallest sliver possible, and one of the chocolate covered cherries that was on top. Ohmygoditwassogoodithinkipeedalittle.

"But Casey, you say. How is this a victory (specifically Small Victory Number 2)?"

Simple. I didn't eat any more. I practiced one of my Ten Commandments. Portion Control. In the face of this amazing pile of fantastic food, I managed to control my cravings, enjoy the more healthful stuff that Melody had provided, then proceeded to have a grand time with Melody, John, Julie, Jay and our latecomer friend Jerica. Good times were had by all, and I left that night a little prouder than I had going in. It was Melody's birthday, but I got the present. Nice.

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the going away party for two of my favorite people, Natalie and Michael, a pair of theatre loving twins who have been involved with the local theatre company and two of the coolest folks around. I was invited to the party by two of my other favorite people, their mom and dad, Kent and Tara. It was a great time, we surprised the heck out of Natalie and Michael, sang some musical theatre songs, laughed, joked, and celebrated these two wonderful people who will soon be going off to college.

And there was food. Lots of it. Loooots of it. Jambalaya, veggie tray, sandwiches, some sort of chocolate cupcakes, and many many bottles of soda. I claimed a victory in the name of portion control once again when I ate lots of veggies, a small helping of Jambalaya and no cupcakes. I nursed a couple of Coke Zeroes throughout the night. The Coke Zero thing is important because they had Sunkist Orange there. I love Sunkist Orange. I mentally gave it the finger while I was pouring my Coke Zero. Take that, Orange goodness!

It may seem petty for a grown man to be celebrating the fact that he didn't eat a bunch of food, but part of my struggle is impulse control. I must say that Bad Decision Casey didn't show up at all though. I was surprised. (Small Victory #3)

Finally, we come to Today.

I managed a solid twenty five minutes of cardio work on the exercise bike at the gym. Twenty five minutes. On Wednesday, just four days ago, I couldn't even do a solid ten. This makes me happy. I wish I could properly articulate my joy at reaching that 25:00 on the bike's clock. I feel awesome.

So, what's today's moral of the story? The human body is a wondrous thing. When working in conjunction with a strong mind and resolute attitude, anything is possible.

I am ready to head into the upcoming week with my spirits lifted by my great friends, and the knowledge of my small victories. I hope next week is as good as this one. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I'll talk to y'all on another day.

PS Julie. I want the recipe for the bread that you made. Send it to me and I'll post it on my next blog.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meet My Alter Ego

Thursday night. All is well. I've had a productive day of dietary awesomeness, gotten several errands run and started up my blog. I went to the Opelousas Little Theatre to rehearse for our one night revival of "Of Mice and Men", drove home and relaxed a little.

Then it happened.

I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water before bed, and all of a sudden my alter ego, AKA Bad Decision Casey popped up in a cloud of Oreos, chocolate chips and chicken nuggets. The following is a transcript of our encounter.

Bad Decision Casey (BDC): You've done a great job today.

Casey: Thanks.

BDC: Why don't you reward yourself? You are hungry aren't you?

Casey: Yeah, a little.

BDC: Well, you're right there by the stove. Looks like someone left some fried chicken tenders from Wal-Mart on there. You bought them today for Maw-Maw's lunch and boy, didn't they smell great in the truck?

Casey: Yeah, they did.

BDC: Well, it looks like there's some left. Why not eat a couple of them?

Casey: Don't want to.

BDC: Sure you do.

Casey: Okay, so I do. But I'm not going to. They're really not good for you. Especially after 10:00 PM.

BDC: Yeah, but there's ranch dressing in the fridge.

Casey: Shut your face.

BDC: Geez. Okay. Well, you know what else would be good? A big old glass of chocolate milk and a couple of peanut butter sandwiches.

Casey: Uh-huh. It would, actually.

BDC: Go ahead, open the fridge door. Look inside.

(Casey opens the refrigerator door. Stares longingly at the milk and Hershey's Syrup)

BDC: Man Oh Man. Wouldn't that be good right now? A big old glass of chocolate goodness, some peanut butter sandwiches and David Letterman.

Casey: Letterman's on? Well, I like snacking and watching The Late Show.

BDC: Go ahead. Fix yourself a snack. You can work it off tomorrow.

Casey: Wellll, I dunno.

(Casey's tired and sore Quadriceps muscles join the conversation. For the record, tired Quadriceps muscles sound like Samuel L. Jackson)


Casey: He was trying to get me to make a sandwich.


BDC: But he deser...

Quads: SHUT THE @!%* UP!

BDC: Oookay, I'm out. But I'll be baaack. MUAH HA HA HA!

Casey: Thanks Quaddy. You're my best friend.


Casey: Okay.

So I did.

I hope this doesn't happen every night. I love staying up and watching Letterman, but I'm a horrendous late night snacker. As long as my pal Quaddy stays around, and maybe brings his friends, I'll probably be okay. The lesson to be learned here is think about what you're eating before you eat it. It might just save your life.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Okay, you asked for it.

Well, hello there. Don't you look fancy today? Please, come in, sit down. Yes you, the one with the great smile and aura of awesome around you. I like your shoes. And that shirt/blouse/dress/sport coat/bathrobe/dirty T-Shirt you're wearing looks great on you. Welcome to the first entry in my Diary of a Chunky Guy. I hope you can be enlightened, entertained or inspired by my journey. Perhaps all three.

So, here we go. My name is Casey. I'm interested in acting, movies, books, video games and an assortment of other things. I love to make people smile, I enjoy being around people, I have a wonderful family and have managed to amass lots of people whose company I enjoy, and who hopefully enjoy mine. I consider myself a good guy, and a great friend. I'm always there to lend a hand or an ear to someone who needs me, and I wear a 30's era newsboy cap like no one's business. But I'm also something else:


Or in medical terms "morbidly obese". I've been that way for most of my life. The last time I remember not really being overweight was in second grade. I hit third grade and I just started packing on the pounds. I've had a lifelong struggle with my weight...well, not really. It hasn't been a struggle. I've pretty much just been overweight and accepted that there wasn't much I could do about it. I blamed genetics mostly, as pretty much everyone on my dad's side of the family were large folks. I tried a couple of times over the years to lose weight but it always seemed to be a futile effort in the end.

Now, I've never been a "woe is me, I'm overweight so I can't do anything I'm so quiet and withdrawn" types. I never really wallowed in my largeness, I just accepted it as part of who I was. I've always loved people. I got involved with acting in the tenth grade, and have been getting up in front of people to make them laugh and smile for longer than that. Other than my confidence around women, my weight never really bothered me that much. I'm not sure why it didn't, but it just never did.

Then I turned 30.

I swear the day after my 30th birthday, I woke up and thought, "Jeez..why does my knee hurt? And why is my back all sore, and what's wrong with my foot? My elbow burns when I bend it, and my neck is all stiff. What the crap is wrong?"

Apparently when you turn 30 your body starts to turn against you, like a cute pet monkey you've kept in a cage their whole life who suddenly, one day decides to rip your face off. I've noticed a slow decline in my otherwise pretty normal functions. I've always been fairly mobile for a large fellow, and capable of swift movement or acts of pseudo agility when needed. I used to do a bit where I would walk and trip myself just to make someone laugh. I also took a Judo class in 2000 and could do a front roll after taking two steps forward. If I tried either of those things now, I'm afraid I'd break my face.

Also, I've noticed myself silently asking "Is it okay for me to sit in that chair?" on many occasions and also hoping when going out with friends "I hope we get a table, 'cause it's really hard for me to fit in a booth."

This is...unacceptable.

We have one body, one life, one chance at happiness and fulfillment, and I've squandered mine long enough. I've taken the greatest gift that is given to us, our body, and basically neglected and abused it to the point where it's starting to turn on me. This is no way to live, and it stops as of today. Well, okay it stopped as of August 1st, but I'm just getting around to posting this blog.

I refuse to accept that this is the way life has to be. I refuse to continue to put my life in jeopardy because of gross neglect. It ends now.

My hope for this blog is to keep myself motivated, share any knowledge that I obtain and help others who are struggling with their weight. If I can do this, anyone can.

How will I go about losing this weight? Here are Casey's Ten Commandments.

1. No Fast Food. None. Never. (not even tasty tasty McBreakfasts)
2. No Soda. Not Even Diet If I Can Help It.
3. No Junk Food. (Oof. I like doughnuts)
4. No Fried Food. (sob. this one stings)
5. Eat More Vegetables and Leafy Stuff.
6. Portion Control, Portion Control, Portion Control.
7. Read The Labels On What I Eat. Be Aware Of What's Going Into My Body.
8. Exercise Every Day. Every. Day.
9. Learn The Joy Of Healthy Cooking
10. If I Mess Up One Of These Rules, Don't Get Discouraged. Strive To Be Better.

So that's my game plan folks. I'm not dieting, I'm talking about a complete lifestyle change. It's going to be hard. Really hard. But if I expect to reverse the direction my life is headed, I have to jump into it full force, full speed ahead. I end this blog with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

I'm ready to dare greatly. It's going to be one helluva ride. Let's do this.