Sunday, February 1, 2009

A New Adventure: My First-Ever Blog Post!

Elliptical Mileage: 6.0 miles
MP3 Player: Michael Nyman, MGV (Musique à Grande Vitesse)

This first-ever blog post is definitely new territory for me, but on the other hand, it does seem familiar in a way: it feels like what I've been doing on the first day of classes every semester since I started teaching. Obviously, I need to introduce myself, but I also need to do something more, to make some kind of initial connection instead of letting students tune out on the very first day. That's not so different from what I'm trying to do here ...

So the first question is, why am I making time today - and hopefully, a fair number of days to come - to post here on this blog? Lots of reasons, I suppose. For one thing, the bigger the blogosphere gets, the more really fascinating blogs I stumble across and the more I see how unlimited the possibilities are for this very unique and still-evolving medium. For another, I've read enough weight loss blogs by now to know that the good ones aren't only endless lists of pounds lost or gained and anecdotes about fat-laden foods pushed away or wolfed down - they're full of honest insights and smart observations that expand the boundaries of what it means to talk about "losing weight", and I can't resist the challenge of trying to do that myself. And, finally, like a lot of other weight loss bloggers, I hope that putting my words as well as my successes and failures out here for anyone with an internet connection to read and to comment on will offer me a fresh kind of motivation the next time temptation comes knocking at the door!

And why am I determined this time to lose the weight and keep it off? Mostly because that wasn't how it worked out the last time around. By May 2005 I'd let myself balloon up to about 285 lbs., which is way too much on a sedentary guy who needs to stand up very very straight and stretch a little besides to touch the 5'8" mark. (It helped a little to have an extremely endomorphic body shape that's always let me pass for a lower weight, but still - it was too much.) Over the next two years I cut lots of junk food out of my diet, counted calories and fat grams, took up running again, and I managed to lose 90 lbs., actually hitting 195 - and looking down at the scale to see a number starting with 1 instead of 2 was a great feeling. But then in June 2007 I overdid the running and gave myself a slow-healing injury, and then before I knew it, my weight loss was reversing as if I were being yanked backwards in a bungee cord harness. It took me about a year to gain back the 90 lbs. it had taken me twice that long to lose in the first place. I've recently gotten back to saying "no" again when waitresses offer the dessert tray and I've climbed back onto the home elliptical machine I was starting to use as a very pricey coat rack, so that's allowed me to bring myself back down to at least a little below my peak weight, so I don't feel as if I were starting 100% from scratch. But I know from experience that those early pounds are also the easiest pounds to lose, so there's hard work ahead. Encouragement and suggestions are always welcome!

If you've read this far, thank you - and please stop by again soon.

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