Rhonda's Progress Log may be just about the strangest thing ever posted on the My Fat Spouse Forum. Brother Crash posted regular updates for almost two years. Sadly, myfatspouse.com went down before the story ended and Crash never checked in on myfatspouse.org.
Dear Friends and Supporters:
For those of you unfamiliar with my post, I am going to be running a log of the progress that is made/or not made.
The short end of the story, my fiancee is 5'6" and weighed in at 288lbs at her heaviest with 46.5% body fat.
I'm going to simply add to this posting to keep things cleaner over the next several months. I hope that this helps you, I'll also be posting a recipe section that I've been using to get the weight off of her and maintain my own health.
4-29-07: 283lbs 46.5% BF
Rhonda has slowly adapted to eating lunches I prepare for her. The truth is she has never eaten quite so much in terms of food. It's simply not junk food, so in terms of volume, nutrition and fiber, she's up there now.
The hardest pitfall to overcome right now is getting her to drink enough water. Even in 32oz squirt bottles with ice and a little lemon, it's hard to convince a fat person to drink enough water. But blood sugar stabilization is critical to someone who is severely obese and they prefer cola and juice to water. If you can get them to drink unsweetened ice tea that will help.
Case in point, she just got back from church sporting a super size Wendy's cup. I asked, that's ice tea right? And she sheepishly said, no it's a coke. And I said, you don't need the coke and said I was going to pour it out. Her protest, BUT THAT COST 2 BUCKS! and I replied, and it's a half pound of FAT. And I poured it out with impunity and refilled the glass with ice tea.
When people are addicted to sugar you have to treat them like little kids. Don't allow excuses, just act. If they don't like it, they can get out of your life. They'd be doing you a favor anyway.
She is now working around the house and I have her scheduled for a walk later today.
She has a pedometer now and is expected to log 10,000 steps a day. If she doesn't she has to walk until she does. It's simple. It works and it helps keep people on track. Get a good one and it can't rack up false walking (they can't shake it to 10k steps).
Anyway, she is a few pounds lighter, but that is probably a lot of water weight too. I'll update this same post once a week. Hope to hear from you all. Warm Regards - Crash
4-30-07: 283lbs 46.5%BF
Holding the line is better than losing the battle. Her biggest problem seems to be drinking water. I'll step up her water consumption at night.
Today, I rolled out of bed as usual and made her lunch. She had a pounded grilled chicken breast on Arnold's Low Carb high fiber toast with a slice of pepperjack cheese and mustard. I also gave her a single serving of Trader Joe's spicy flax seed spicy nachos, a Larabar (date and cashew bar), a pineapple fruit leather and an apple for lunch. She has a small box (kid size) of raisins for a snack and a granola bar. For breakfast she had a yogurt smoothie and a multivitamin.
She has the healthy snack foods because in truth she spends the majority of her day at work, I wanted her to have some healthy choices for munching on instead of crap from a machine. She knows it's verbotten to cheat on her diet... so I found healthy snacks she enjoys and meter out the portions.
By the way, something you may want to invest in... a digital scale that measures in gram increments. The reason is that too many nutrition labels are WAY off. They will say a serving is 14 grams or 27 chips. So you count out 27 chips thinking you did great. WRONG! Because 14 grams actually equals 20 chips. Meaning you are eating ~25% more than you previously thought. The caloric calculations on virtually all food labels are done based on WEIGHT, not volume (as contents may settle... yatta yatta yatta). So take the time to measure how much you are really eating. You would be very suprised at what a REAL portion size equals.
One more GREAT TIP. When you buy a digital scale they will usually try to sell you a 50g calibration weight. This is unneccessary and overly expensive, they usually start at around 15 dollars. Here is a 50 cent solution. Go to the bank and pick up a roll of fresh nickels. Nickels weigh 5g a piece (precisely). Stack 10 of them on your scale and you are good to go FOR 50 CENTS instead of 15 DOLLARS. And when you are done you can use the 50 cents towards anything you like Come on! We know you've been looking to put a down payment on that new beamer!
5-4-07: 281lbs n/a%BF
Well the scale broke... so there is no %BF on this posting.
I am very proud of her success so far, but I want to make sure it continues. I have her eating breakfast (reversing a bad trend of skipping it for years) every morning and I think that helps control hunger throughout the day. Remember those Bill Cosby PSA's? Don't miss breakfast!
Rhonda's brother is in town. Yesterday she logged 13 miles of walking touring the great city of Philadelphia with her little brother. To top it off, she ate well in the morning, at lunch and at dinner. She really held her own and impressed me when she ordered a garden burger for dinner and then said to me "You know, I don't want to get the fries, see if they can sub them out for a small side salad or fruit."
I was truly impressed. At this point, I haven't gotten her into the gym as much, but I have been making her stay active.
The key to television and the computer has been simple for me.
I've told her "Listen, as long as you do your 30minutes of cardio walking when you get home, then I don't care WHAT you do with the rest of your evening. You can PLAY games till the cows come home, but you are going to bed at 10PM so budget your time accordingly."
I know that my methods are a bit authoritarian and some may wonder what will happen when I don't stay on top of her. Well, I'm teaching her HOW to LIVE a better lifestyle for herself. Whether I am in the picture or not won't matter shortly. My honest opinion is that if she stays on track for a year, she'll adapt to all of the changes and be hard pressed to give them up.
I will update again next Friday. I hope everyone is doing well. OH and I am posting the recipes in the DIET section today.
5-9-07: 279lbs 45.5% BF
Rhonda broke the 280 barrier. I must say I am pleasantly suprised. At this rate she's dropping alot of body fat and not eating away too much muscle. Of course, the body fat scales are always off a little bit. That is why you can't take it too seriously and use it only as a rough gauge.
She's been eating 3 meals a day plus 2 snacks a day. She's logging 7-10k steps a day before she even gets home. Now she is taking stairs when she can just to get in a tiny bit more exercise. She told me she hates it but she is motivated. She also will walk some at lunch to help rev her metabolism.
As I suspected she is seeing progress and is becoming self motivated.
When she wants a snack, she reaches for one of the healthy options. She knows that certain things are off limits at home. The Soy/Flax chips are simply for her lunches.
We've also been trying some new methods to make her feel fuller. She sometimes gets a bowl of tomato and roasted bellpepper soup (organic and not in a can) before dinner while she waits for it to be ready. This allows her stomach to send signals to her brain telling her she is actually full instead of eating to the point of gluttony.
In another 10 pounds or so (the next month) I expect to take her shopping. We're not throwing out the clothes because we'll be taking before and after pics using them.
I'm going to post more of what we're eating in the diet section. The food is really good and it's good for people who don't have a lot of time or money to spend. Eating healthy doesn't really cost as much as people say it does.
Her water intake is up and I told her if she's not peeing clear, then she needs to drink more water. I've also impressed upon her that she needs to drink water ALL day long. You don't stop after you drink 8 glasses because your body needs more than 8 glasses if you weigh more than 150lbs. EIGHT glasses is the MINIMUM. I am not saying drink 1 or 2 gallons in a sitting. Nobody wants to die of water toxicity. But drinking 8-16oz every hour won't hurt you in my opinion (unless you are on kidney dialysis or have some kind of health problem).
When she gets home today we'll be going for yet another walk in the park up the street. We'll be having the same dinner I posted in the diet section, Halibut-green beans-tomato/feta salad and a cup of brown rice.
5-11-07: 278lbs 45.5% BF
Yet another pound gone. But that is not why I chose to post today. The reason is something that she said.
She looked down at the scale this morning and said, "Wow I lost another pound! I guess the pressure's really on now!"
Truth be known, it gave me a little bit of a lift to hear that. I was as if she acknowlegded that she is getting results because she has ditched many of her bad habits.
The most important thing here is to see motivation from within. I think she realizes that there are new clothes in her future if she'll stay committed.
I am not bribing her with anything either. I've simply told her that we'll have to adjust her wardrobe as the weight continues to fall off. More importantly, some of the clothes she could no longer fit in are fitting again.
She also confided in me that she hated it at first, but since the New Year she has felt progressively better, less tired and in a better state of mind.
I believe that the typical american doesn't eat enough vegetables and fruit. And by simply making her eat more produce, she's feeling better.
I do expect that she'll fluxuate up or down a few pounds, by the time labor day rolls around in 4 months... I am hoping she'll be down another 40lbs.
To give everyone an idea of what even a moderate amount of weight loss can do, vast improvements in blood pressure, hormone response, blood sugar and cholesterol are seen from as little as a 10-15lb loss.
5-12-07: 276lbs ??.?% BF
She is down to 276lbs as of this morning. Some of this is probably water weight. The scale has gone out... I thought I fixed it but it's broken. We're using a back up scale but it reads the same (no variation, just no BF or water percentage analysis).
We spent the night out last night until 2AM playing pool and talking with friends. She drank wine spritzers and ate no junk food. She even played a few games of pool and enjoyed the time out.
When I woke up around 12pm, she was gone... she showed up 15 minutes later soaking wet with sweat, wearing her walking shoes and her pedometer saying she went out for a 30 minute walk and asked what was for lunch, that she'd made a super smoothie (no sugar) this morning for herself when she got up and was starving.
I fed her a quick snack and then some soup and a salad.
We're about to go walking at the mall and I hope that we can find a new digital scale.
I've also got her to help me with gardening today. I am hoping that the trend continues because it would be so great to have her back!
Good luck to all and feel free to drop me a line anytime.
5-23-07: 275lbs ??.?% BF
So I haven't gotten a body fat capable scale yet. It's in the works. But Rhonda has dropped another few pounds. This was after I went away to New Orleans for 6 days and she didn't gain any weight. She also said she went for her walks and ate breakfast and healthy options.
She had to buy some new pants and an old pair she barely fit into are now falling off her. It's amazing what losing some weight can do to your body. She seems very motivated and I am hoping she stays that way.
I'm having to transition her to being self motivated as my work may take me from home frequently and I can't afford for her not to be self sufficient in cooking and exercise if I am gone for a week at a time.
That's all she wrote for today. But I am sure she'll keep losing. I'm proud of her and told her so. I also brought her back a cute pink cowgirl hat from new orleans... you never have to worry that it won't fit and told her that I hope she'll wear it when she gets down to a suitable weight to go ride horses with me.
6-2-07: 273lbs ??.?% BF
Yep, it's a fact she's lost another 2 lbs. She weighed this 2 days ago and weighed it again today, so I am logging it.
More to the point, the belt she obtained when she bought some pants has now gone from the third notch to the first notch on the belt and it's loose.
Today we are going to the pool and we will do some laying out and some light swimming.
Last night, she got dressed up and we went out with friends to a Jazz concert and then hit a dive bar and played pool. For those of you who have fat partners, sometimes a lack of desire for socialization is a problem. Rhonda is feeling better about herself and is going out. I would also mention she didn't bother drinking or eating empty calories, she stuck with ice tea and did really well.
We had super chili for breakfast with whole grain crackers. It's really good. I hope you all will try it.
6-15-07: 269lbs ??.?% BF
She's broken another marker and I am very proud of her. The mindless eating has subsided in large part. Next weekend we are going canoing down a local river for 5 miles... and it was her plan.
She is much wiser about her food choices and I've noticed she doesn't choose things that are going to set her back.
Tomorrow we'll be at the local YMCA for swimming and sunning. Yeah, she's overweight, but even fat people like the water. And as far as I am concerned, so long as she is working her ass off (pun definitely intended) then I am happy to go places with her.
Tonite is a soup and salad night with lean dry rub barbecued pork loin. Protein at night helps maintain some muscle mass.
Incidentally, she got a new job which she started last week. Turns out she has time in the mornings to work out now. So we will both be going together in the near future. I am expecting the weight to come off twice as fast once regular cardio and weights are added to her mix.
6-30-07: 263lbs ??.?% BF
This is the lowest she's been in the last two years. Of course, I do think it has something to do with the fact that she has eaten very little at work with her new job in the ER at the hospital. They don't tend to get to eat a lot in that department... and even if you eat 5 cliff builder bars that's still only 1500 calories for a person who is burning that much during the day lifting people onto gurneys and practically running from station to station.
I'm thinking she is going to be at this weight for another week or so at least. However, I am worried that some of the weight she is losing is her muscle mass. And while she could probably lose a little, I don't want it to deteriorate.
Work outs have been okay for her, but she's not getting enough time in the mornings. I've got to find a way to wake her up and get her revving faster.
But you can't argue with progress...
Incidentally, she got a new incentive to get fit faster. It turns out that my first wife (who happens to be smoking hot) is going to the same wedding I am the best man for in Ecuador.... 14,000 feet above sea level. My first wife (I don't call her an EX, because she wasn't a witch and I think the world of her, so she's simply a first wife) told me she'll be there and is looking forward to seeing me and my new woman and invited us to join her on the beach in Esmeraldas. That means that Rhonda has to really step up her efforts to be able to fit in with my friends and the crowd I hung out with. They are all very active and very healthy people... and the beach area we're going to hit happens to be clothing optional.
I feel like going outside and hiking in Valley Forge National Park. So I'll see you guys later. Hope all is well with everyone and keep positive. It is doable and it is possible to get your life back. She's dropped 20lbs in two months... most of it blubber. There are no excuses only results.
8-11-07: 260lbs ??.?% BF
So plateaus suck... they really really do. Her weight loss has stalled out and it's not due to cheating. It's due to the ability of the human body to adapt.
So I am posting changes to what she is doing.
As it turns out the diet is going to shift as well... as she is going to be on a weight training program shortly.
The good news is that she is still committed and saw some VERY fat people at the Zoo this weekend. She looked over at me and said, "I'd have been that big if you hadn't stepped in!" I just smiled and nodded.
Now it's true she's about 100lbs still overweight, but the fact is that she's still working to drop it. It's not as fast as I would like it, but her clothes are fitting looser.
Some positive behaviors she's adopted firmly:
-Using stairs instead of taking the elevator everywhere.
-Measuring portions of food.
-Drinking more water.
In order to break her plateau... we've put her on the USMC daily 16 workout that was posted. She's not capable of finishing the whole thing yet, but I am working with her to get the fitness tuned up so that she can complete what is essentially a USMC "WARM UP" for a real workout.
It's a rough prospect but the catch it to push everyday and leave nothing undone... even if it takes you twice as long to finish a workout.
Anyway, I'll post again in two weeks with results.
10-21-07: 255lbs ??.?% BF
Well Rhonda is breaking the plateau slowly. It's hard work. Her body is in the process of reshaping. She's reshaping her body so that now she's down a size and has had to buy new bras. It's a beautiful thing.
The size 22 pants are now fitting losely and she'll be in size 20's very soon. I'm extremely proud of her efforts.
The exercise route has been hard for her. She's missed several days and the daily 16 has been leaving her very sore.
Initially, workouts will hurt like crazy. Lactic acid forms when the body goes into an anerobic state. Not enough oxygen gets to the muscles so they secrete lactic acid like crazy.
Some things that have helped with it are stretching afterwards and gently pushing through the pain of sore muscles.
When it's been a joint issue, I've let her take off from working out particular body parts. Injury is detrimental to progress and can sour efforts badly.
The important thing is that she's maintaining her body now. It's going to be a slow road, but I know she can do it.
Every little bit helps people. When she can't do the program, I make sure I take her to the mall to walk when it's crappy or dark outside. And I've been really proud of her ability to not eat junk when given an opportunity.
She got a turkey burger the other night without mayo and opted for low fat feta cheese as her topping. They brought her fries with it, and she had only 5 of them. Then asked the waiter to take the plate away. She's also off the sodas and is now drinking water and tea everytime we go out.
While her progress is stagnant right now... her commitment and enthusiasm is still there. I'm glad she's making a real effort and is continuing the course.
I hope to post more great news later. But for now, it's been a slow roll towards fitness.
And as I said, her weight may not be going down as much as I like, but with the exercise, her body is firming up and she's feeling more confident every day.
All in all, it's a NET win.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Hope all is well with eveyrone else,
1-9-08: 249lbs ??.?% BF
Well it's a new year and Rhonda is STILL continuing to lose. The holidays were rough on her, but she pulled through like a champ.
I told her that it was fine to have all of her favorite things during the holiday, but to just do me a favor and really savor them. That gulping it down didn't do her much good. She only gets to eat her mother's cooking about once every year, including her mom's famous turkey dressing and lemon pies.
Amazingly, she didn't overeat. She ate normal portions and didn't put on a pound during the holidays. She didn't lose any weight, but she didn't gain any either... so it's a plus.
Progress was stymied by a huge plateau that she hit that lasted about 3 months. Yes folks, plateaus DO exist and they are rough to deal with.
The good news is that she beat it and also dropped down to a size 20 pant, which she is almost out of again.
I had Rhonda start a colon cleansing program because I felt her digestive tract might be impaired. No I am not a doctor (she is though and she agreed), but doing a colon cleansing program isn't harmful in the least to anyone. If done properly and according to the instructions anyone should be able to do it (barring those with medical conditions that preclude it, so talk with your doctor before doing it).
She lost two inches off her waist. That's right in two weeks, two inches came off her stomach. Some could have been due to exercise and diet, but generally such a massive change in such a short time has other factors as well.
Incidentally, the sludge that was in her intestines started coming out. And not to be gross, but the fact is that if your intestines is overloaded with yeast and hardened mucousal deposits, chances are you are not digesting food properly. You can eat a ton, but still be malnourished.
Again, I'm not going to endorse any particular product. That is not why I am reporting this here. Instead it's to illustrate how effective this has been for her.
Her water intake has been the hardest thing for her to maintain. I have to find a solution that works with the hospital environment.
She has been playing the Nintendo Wii that I got her for her birthday in October as well. Her favorite game is Tennis and she plays it for at least 30 minutes a day. I think that the Wii had a real impact on breaking through that plateau. Because it added 30 minutes to an hour of exercise that she wasn't getting. Sure she hit the gym intermittantly, but I think it really helped her. Besides she is/was/will be playing that instead of sitting in the corner of the couch curled up in a ball with her laptop playing solitaire or some stupid internet game for an hour. Better to be on your feet than a bump on a couch.
I know that I am proud of her progress.
Incidentally, she asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year... and I told her something from her that was personally meaningful and not material in any way or purchased.
I got a card that said, "For Christmas, I promise you that I will go to the gym 3 times a week and do a full effort work out for no less than 30 minutes, WHETHER YOU GO OR NOT!"
The best gift I've gotten in a very long time. So far she's actually been doing it.
I've also gotten her okay to take pictures once a week now that she's down enough. At the gym last night she was watching "The Biggest Loser" on the television screens in front of the eliptical and saw the fat women on it weighing 240lbs who looked really bad... and told me "I don't want to be like that. I don't want to live like that."
After her 35 minute program was over, she decided to keep going on manual mode for an extra mile to see who got cut that week. I kept up with her too... All in all, she did 50 minutes of cardio last night. I'm very proud of her.
I'll try to update this more often. Right now the goal is to get her in size 18 or 16 Jeans for 5co de Mayo!!!!
Much love and hope to all,
12-9-08: 247lbs ??.?% BF
Maybe it's winter. I'm not sure, but I'm seeing a slowdown. Actually, I think the slow down is due to the fact I got a new laptop and she's been using it to play games in front of the television like she used to do. I'm sure the answer is to get her a Wii active game for Valentines day.
I'm not so worried about the fact that she's only lost 2lbs right now. What I am concerned with is that she might be adopting unhealthy behaviors.
One thing I identified is that she started skipping breakfast. I think this is the number one self-sabotage move anyone can make. It's sad because it's so easy to fix.
Anyway, I have to get back to work. I've got a new study on metabolic diseases to research.