My Fat Dad Pants – Thoughts on Losing Weight

I weight 350 pounds, and these are my jeans. They’re literally the only pair of jeans that I own that I’m able to fit into. And they’re a half size too small. You probably can’t read the label, but they’re a size 44 waist. I only really wear them when I need to — the rest of the time, I wear stretchy shorts or loose pants.

I could go buy more jeans. I’d have to order them online, because I can’t find a local store that carries jeans with a wider waist that aren’t designed for short men. It’s either cram my fat ass into these, or wear highwaters.

Call it stubbornness, but I’m gonna keep cramming my fat ass into these, until they’re looser. They’re uncomfortable. The waist band digs in, especially if I’ve worn them for a while, but I need them to be uncomfortable to motivate me to fix it. Buying new pants just gives me more room to grow.

I’ve Always Been Big

I’ve been fat my whole life. I was an overweight kid, an overweight teenager, an overweight college student, and now I’m an overweight dad. I’d blame it on genetics, but my folks aren’t terribly big people. It’s more of a cultural thing: my family likes to eat, and the stuff we like to eat has never been healthy. Sweet stuff has always been a staple entry in our pantry — cookies, cakes, candy. I could go check out my parents’ cupboard right now and probably find a dozen variety of sweet snacks, and that’s after most of the Christmas goodies have been devoured.

My dad’s the type of guy who will sit down with an entire bag of cookies and just eat and eat until the whole bag’s gone. But he also works a job where he walks about five miles a day, and even when he’s home, he’s out tinkering, doing physical work of some kind.

I like to eat the way my dad does…but I’m not nearly as physically active. Most of the work I’ve done means sitting at a computer for hours on end.

Until this last year, being overweight never really bothered me, either. My weight hasn’t really impacted my confidence in major ways, and I haven’t seen a lot of major health issues from it. My doctor says my heart is healthy and my blood pressure is more or less normal.

On the other hand, I have a lot more pain than I used to. An old knee injury has given me hell all year, and my back hurts more days than it doesn’t. Getting up and down off the floor with the girls is difficult. I have a lot more acid reflux than I did 50 pounds lighter, and I’m constantly out of breath from tasks that shouldn’t be terribly strenuous. I’ve been sick more often this past year than I have in the prior five combined, mostly upper respiratory problems.

Some of that’s from getting older, but I’m only 32. I feel over 40.

I mentioned in my post about goals for 2018 that my kids are a major reason for losing weight. I want to be able to move easier and be more active so I can play with them. But it’s bigger than that. I need to fix some crappy habits so they don’t watch me and learn them, the way I did from my dad.

The girls are really active. Baby will be playing T-ball again this year. Baby and Monster both got rollerskates for Christmas, and Baby wants a new bike. I’d love to get Monster into gymnastics if we can afford it. They’re already a lot more physically active than I was at their ages — I just wanted to sit in my room and play with Lego blocks. I want to encourage that activity.

Improving The Plan

I spent some time today setting up my Bullet Journal for 2018. Bullet journaling is something I picked up a few years ago, but like a lot of positive habits, I let it slip when my life started falling apart. I really do better with a physical journal rather than trying to keep track of things with digital apps. Here’s a few things my Bullet Journal includes that should help with my goals for losing weight:

  • Water Tracker. My goal is to drink 128oz of water every day. I’ve got a bad habit of drinking a few cups of coffee a day and nothing else, so I’m pretty much perpetually dehydrated. I’ve got a big 32oz water bottle, so that’s easy to track — just 4 fill ups a day. I already don’t drink much soda or juice (I drink about one soda a month), so I don’t need to cut any crappy drinks from my diet. I just need to hydrate better.
  • Gym Tracker. I want to hit the gym 3 days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. That will give me the weekends free with the kids, plus an extra weekend day to rest between workouts. So I’ve got a tracker of 156 little boxes — 3 boxes for every week of the year. Every time I go to the gym, I can check one off. Ideally, I’ll hit them all.
  • Exercise Trackers. I’ve also set up specific trackers for each exercise in the StrongLifts program. There are five: squats, bench press, barbell row, overhead press, and deadlift. I wanted to be able to track the amount of weight I’m lifting on each exercise. I’ve also added a cardio tracker to log the number of minutes of cardio I hit. Each box on these trackers get colored green if I hit a new maximum.
Aside from my Bullet Journal, my other big tool for losing weight is my Fitbit Blaze. I won’t be worrying too much about hitting a step goal, but it tracks my heart rate, which is useful during cardio, and the food tracker is a good way to self-reflect on the food I’m eating and make better choices.

Past experience has taught me I don’t do so well micromanaging my food intake, though, so I won’t be using it to try to stay under a specific caloric goal;  I just want to make better food choices — more fresh fruit and vegetables, less sugar, more protein.

Do You Have a Weight Loss Goal?

I’ve read that losing weight is the number one most common New Years’ resolution, so much so that people who go to the gym regularly sometimes have a bad opinion of “New Years resolutioners.” For me, starting a journey like this at the beginning of a new year has a bookend quality to it — it helps me lock away the bad things from the last year and focus on the good things I want for the year ahead.

Are you  losing weight in 2018? What’s your plan?

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