JR Takes It Off

Here it is: The first of a series of posts wherein I detail my weight loss.

The structure of these posts will adjust and develop organically, as we figure out more ways to discuss the practicalities and problems of an overweight guy trying to take off the weight. Comments and feedback are appreciated.

I figure the parameters of these posts start with Vitals, then a Food Journal, then an Activity Log. We’ll go from there.


Current weight: 235 (approx)

Heart rate: 85

Food Consumed Today:

1 Blueberry muffin

1 English Toffee gas station cappucino (16oz)

1 Hazelnut Soy Latte

1 Jumbo Brisket Sandwich

2 Slices Pepperoni pizza

1 Arizona Mango drink (16 oz)

1 cup of mini chocolate chip cookies (Casey’s General Store)

1 BBQ Rib Sandwich (Casey’s General Store)


Okay, so clearly today was a fuck-it day. Very little fiber to speak of, almost all processed foods, all of it was what you’d call “unhealthy.”

I’ve been observing Lent this year, and I’m ostensibly giving up sweets. Today, I definitely broke lent.

Also of late, I’ve had a bit of an obsession with barbecue brisket. Especially when I’m traveling. If there is brisket near by, I want it. So, today, I was on an audition and afterward I was hungry and close by a joint I’ve been wanting to try for a while. The sandwich was great. But it was the kind of meal that should have stood alone. I feel like I can justify a jumbo brisket sandwich OR two slices of pepperoni pizza, but certainly not both.

Like… What the hell am I doing to my body?

The above list served as the impetus for this blog project. I have a history of using food to cope with stress, to celebrate, to equivocate. There have been points in my life when I have had a better attitude toward food, and had healthier diets. I can get back there.

As I was binging on the insane menu above today, driving back from Nashville, I remembered reading an article by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell about a similar situation. Here was a guy who had gained a great deal of weight, and needed it to come off. He writes about one of those galvanizing moments that turned it around and helped him lose 128 lbs in a year. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I stopped at a red light in the Tenderloin and a worn, reedy man panhandling for change headed in my direction. He glanced me up and down as I tried to avoid making eye contact. I was about to say that I couldn’t give him any money, which was true, both because my first professional writing job wasn’t paying me enough to actually cover the rent on my apartment, and because I was so uncoordinated that I was genuinely afraid I would fall off of my bike if I tried to reach into my pocket for change. Before I could say any of that, though, he chuckled to himself and smiled at me. “Good for you, big man,” he said. “Keep riding that bike.” Then he walked away, having flipped my prepared pity on its head, and I wished I could have given him every dollar in my wallet to have not said anything at all.

A few weeks ago, I was “jogging” (basically shuffling my feet at a slower pace than I would do walking at a normal gait), and passed a homeless dude who shouted to me “get it, man!”

Clearly, people want us to succeed. It’s a kind of infectiousness: when people encounter others trying to improve themselves, there is often a sense of community in that. Not always — some people are really obnoxious about their fitness routines. But see, there it goes again — sure it sounds obnoxious to me, but I’m a fat guy who doesn’t exercise.

Anyway, if you’re working on yourself, keep doing it. It’s important.