Out of the abyss; My continuing journey of enlightenment, physically, emotionally mentally.

toodamtall

Active member
Hello all.

I have been an addict for most of my life, although it has manifested itself in different ways through the years. Overeating, alcoholism... My addictive behaviors have led me down different destructive paths.

In 2010 I had gastric bypass surgery. I went from 400lbs to 240lbs within a year and a half. While my body was no longer capable of taking in the same quantity of food, I hadn't worked on the mental obsessions that went with it, so they became essentially, metastatic, like a cancer and came out as alcoholism. By the summer of 2018, I had regained all of the weight, back up to the original 400lbs, and was destroying my mind and body with my new addiction. A 750ml bottle of vodka contains around 1600 kcal, and when you polish off two of them in a day, that's 3200 kcal of empty poison being consumed.

I checked into rehab. Again and again.

I finally stopped beating myself up and listened. Found out that a higher power can help me through some tough stuff, along with support from other people. I've now been sober for a few months, lost a bunch of weight over the last 3 years and I'm going to the gym on a regular basis.

I am a work in progress. I've also found that my sanity relies on helping other people too. I hope on this site to be able to contribute to other people's journey's as well as my own.

This little corner will periodically have my ramblings, rants and postings of workouts, successes and adversities. I'm not saying it will always be sane or in good taste, but hopefully it will at least be real.

TDT
 

toodamtall

Active member
First official entry, other than the brief title/intro above.

No gym yesterday. Rest day, and apt with therapist. Went to an AA meeting, then off to work (night shift).

Slow night at work tonight, things are running pretty well.

Plan for Thursday - Wake up, get coffee, go to gym. Push and legs (bench, overhead presses, squats, assorted ancillary stuff). I should be pretty wrung out when I'm done. Shower, AA meeting, then work again. I'll check in later tonight to follow up on whether or not I accomplished all of said goals.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...
The courage to change the things I can...
And Wisdom to know the difference.
 

alligatorob

Respected Member
Hey TDT, you did start that diary! Congrats on your sobriety, weight loss, and gym work. That's all good news!

I think you will find support and help here, and I am sure you will be of help to us in return. We are a diverse group of folks who share only the fight to eat well and stay as healthy as we can. I think at one level or another all of us are fighting that same demon that wants us to overeat and be unhealthy, sharing that fight is a good bond. You will find folks here friendly and helpful, start reading the diaries and posts of others, and then don't hesitate to comment or ask questions where you want to. People will appreciate it!

I can tell you I have more years of being overweight and a food addict than you, I know that because I am older, LOL. Like you I have had some successes fighting it, but the battle is far from over. In fact of late I have had a few set backs. I understand the parallels between food addiction and alcoholism, but I guess I am lucky, not an alcoholic. I did drink too much when eating too much, but for me cutting the booze out was the easy part, I do still take a drink now and then, maybe once a month. I have never craved alcohol, I crave food most every day... Anyway happy to have you aboard!
 
Hi and welcome aboard! It is always interesting to me to read about others experiences and struggles. It helps to see that we are not alone in this struggle. I've never done alcohol, but understand. It just means that I have other addictive behaviors. I come from a long line of alcoholics. It's a tough struggle. Weight is and has been my biggest struggle. I wish you well on your journey!
 

Cate

Support crew
Hi, TDT & welcome back to the forum. I think you'll find that there is a good strong mix of people in the forum these days. There are a lot more men than there used to be & they add to the mix in a very positive way. Kudos to you for going to AA & quitting alcohol. I have huge admiration for anyone that does that.
Are you still living in the same area as before with access to lovely fresh food at farmers' markets & that wonderful butcher? Are you still curing & smoking your own meat?
 

toodamtall

Active member
Hi, TDT & welcome back to the forum. I think you'll find that there is a good strong mix of people in the forum these days. There are a lot more men than there used to be & they add to the mix in a very positive way. Kudos to you for going to AA & quitting alcohol. I have huge admiration for anyone that does that.
Thank you! Honestly, it became life or death, and I learned a lot more about myself than I ever thought possible.
Are you still living in the same area as before with access to lovely fresh food at farmers' markets & that wonderful butcher? Are you still curing & smoking your own meat?
Sadly, my dear old friend Mike passed away because of cancer about a year and a half ago. His adult children were all established in their respective careers and nobody wanted to take over the business, so I have to go elsewhere. I still get produce locally when its in season at the farmer's markets.

I'm currently staying with my daughter (more on that later), but yes, I do love curing and smoking my own meats. I want to do some smoked salmon again sometime soon.
 

toodamtall

Active member
Workout

5x5x330# leg press
Leg extensions 3x8x140#
Leg curls 3x8x160#
Bench (smith) 5x5x115#
Overhead presses 5x5x60#
Pec fly (machine) 3x8x130#

I'm limited at my gym for free weights, so I do what I can with what I have. I have not (yet) plateaued on anything, so I'm going to keep pushing up the weights incrementally until I do. The overhead presses are going to be changing soon. The gym only has the pre-weighted fixed barbells that go up to 60# and I've maxed out on them. I'll probably do one more 5x5 routine with this bar, then switch to DB's, which they have plenty of, going forward in order to keep progressing. I also need to add in some calf raises on my next workout because my calves are still spindly and weak from the multiple fractures I've had in my foot and ankle over the last few years.

I'll post food soon too. I need to start holding myself accountable on that as well as every other aspect of my life.

"I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I truly was."
 

toodamtall

Active member
Hi and welcome aboard! It is always interesting to me to read about others experiences and struggles. It helps to see that we are not alone in this struggle. I've never done alcohol, but understand. It just means that I have other addictive behaviors. I come from a long line of alcoholics. It's a tough struggle. Weight is and has been my biggest struggle. I wish you well on your journey!
Addiction takes many, many forms, and any of us that struggle with weight, eating disorders, etc. have that little mental twist built in. Recognizing it for what it is, is the first part of the battle. Thanks for stopping in.
 

toodamtall

Active member
I can tell you I have more years of being overweight and a food addict than you, I know that because I am older, LOL. Like you I have had some successes fighting it, but the battle is far from over. In fact of late I have had a few set backs. I understand the parallels between food addiction and alcoholism, but I guess I am lucky, not an alcoholic. I did drink too much when eating too much, but for me cutting the booze out was the easy part, I do still take a drink now and then, maybe once a month. I have never craved alcohol, I crave food most every day... Anyway happy to have you aboard!
I won't get into the list of cravings I get (some of which I have yet to deal with...) But I need to remember that anything worth doing is worth putting an honest effort into. Thanks for the words of encouragement, and welcome to my neighborhood here.
 

toodamtall

Active member
Calculated RMR using a couple of different sites. Varying information there. Of course RMR doesn't factor in any type of workout or real activity level, but somewhere between 2500 to 2700Kcal seems about right.
In reality, the largest (bulk) portion of the weight loss aspect of my journey is already done. Losing 122 lbs is huge. Based on the number on the scale I'd like to lose about 35-40 more lbs. That being said, I'm more focused at this point in being fit, and losing fat %, by improving my lean mass. In other words, recomposition.

As a result, from a food perspective, I'm looking not so much to calories, as a balance. As a T2 Diabetic, I have to keep an eye on carbs/sugars (not ruling out the occasional cheat). I'm also looking at protein levels to support the lean mass improvements. Ultimately, the goals are sustainability, longevity and overall fitness.
 

toodamtall

Active member
Also, will come wandering around to other diaries tonight when on break, but gotta go be productive at work now, lol.
 

toodamtall

Active member
Food. I was paying some attention to overall health, but mostly wanted to just see what I ended up with today by simply logging what I ate, period.
1625210608581.png
Calorie total is about right, maybe low given activity level, but not bad. Fat was a little high, but mostly it was plant based fat (peanut butter), so not terrible. Carbs are about right for me as a diabetic. Protein was 134g, so that should work for my overall workout plan. About the only bad thing in there was the cake, which I tracked honestly. Retirement party for someone I've worked with for 34 years.

I definitely do not want to limit stuff to the point where I feel like I'm "giving up" something. H.A.L.T. is one of those acronyms they teach you in recovery. If you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, you're a lot more likely to relapse, or even just have a lapse in judgement. In the case of food, denying myself a reasonable sized dessert on a special occasion is likely to just manifest as a resentment. In the case of alcohol, its more serious for me, because it could mean a potentially deadly run. I have to keep things in a balanced perspective.

Anyway, loading it into a spreadsheet allows my engineer mind to see places in which I can improve. Eventually I'll start looking at macros and micros, but for now I'm going to stick with the big stuff, calories, carbs, protein and fat.
 

toodamtall

Active member
A few guys at work started a weight loss accountability contest. I know, I know... These things are not usually healthy...

We weighed in today. The contest goes until October 8th, with weekly weigh-ins. $10 a week to keep playing. The twist in this contest is that everyone has a goal of 10%. One (trusted) person holds the pot. If everyone makes it, they get their money back. Anyone who fails to make it, well their portion is split amongst the winners.

So, my official weigh in with size 15 (50 Euro) steel toed boots, khakis and a t-shirt is 286lbs. I figure about 6lbs for clothing in my case, for a real weight of 280lbs. For the sake of the contest though, it will always be dressed the same, so the clothing is moot.

This is the number on this journey here though that I will track in my diary on Fridays. Back a few years ago when I weighed 400lbs, it was summer time at a doctor's office, so I was wearing shorts, running shoes and a t-shirt, so fully clothed weight would be likely to be more like 402-403lbs. This is all just for reference though.

This is less for reference; I'm 199cm (6'6" tall). I refuse to use BMI as an index for anything. It doesn't factor in any body composition. The index does extremely poorly on either the tall or the short end of the spectrum. Its just worthless in my opinion. For instance, in 1996, my cousin was 6'6" tall and weighed 240lbs. Based on that, he was overweight with a BMI of 27.7. Bearing in mind that in that same year he went to the semi-finals at the Atlanta Olympics for single men's rowing, I'd say the index is pretty skewed.

That being said, I will not be rowing in the Olympics any time soon. Nor do I expect at 56 to be a stand in for Chris Hemsworth in the next Thor movie, (which my cousin probably could have pulled off once upon a time...) We're big Vikings, lol. No, my goals are much more realistic. I would like the number on the scale, in my boxers, to be somewhere around 240ish. The more important things, beyond the number on the scale: My jeans fitting well and at a smaller waist size. Getting rid of, or at least reducing, maintenance medications. Strength, stamina, not feeling tired all the time. The emotional well being related to feeling healthy (this happens on many levels, mental, spiritual, physical.

Speaking of removing/reducing maintenance meds; Nearly 3 months ago, while I was at a treatment facility for my alcoholism, my HBP medication prescription ran out. Due to a paperwork glitch, it didn't get reordered right away. After a week or two of decent blood pressure readings, I asked them not to order it. I have not taken and blood pressure medication since then. Monday my BP was 118 over 72. It has been consistently right in that ball park for the last couple of months, with no scripts. Yay!, one more chemical I don't need in my body.

On the diabetes front, I used to take Lantus (slow acting insulin injection) at 30 units daily, Humalog (fast acting insulin) with each meal on a sliding scale based upon my blood glucose numbers, and Metformin (pill form, also known as Glucophage) twice a day. I now take Lantus at 26 units, once a day. I have not taken the metformin for some time, and the Humalog in months. My A1C from Monday's lab work was 6.1.

Okay, rambling on. I'll be back.
 

toodamtall

Active member
1625288570992.png

So far. I will likely have one more snack, but then I'm going home, catching a few hours of sleep, and headed to the airport to pick up my wife.
 

toodamtall

Active member
So a new chapter...
I haven't talked much about that side of the story, but everything is always interrelated right?
My wife and I have been trying to get sober for about 3 years now. We both have backgrounds, yadda, yadda, not the important part. We've been married for 34 years and love each other very much. For most of our marriage, we didn't even drink! We didn't do that until about 10-12 years ago, and only socially initially. Regardless, ancient history. The problem is, we started getting into this merry go round cycle when we realized how far out of control we had gotten. Short term sobiety, followed by relapses that became more and more catastrophic every time.
We couldn't seem to break out of the cycle and we've both been to multiple rehabs. I finally fell completely apart and realized that I was literally going to die if I didn't put myself first and just go to a rehab and stay as long as necessary. I did that back in march, just before my birthday. The second birthday in a row I celebrated in rehab. Ugly story. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, my daughter kidnapped my wife, so to speak, and brought her to florida to live with them for a bit, and get sober.

She's doing well, and I finally got the help I think i needed. I picked her up today from the airport. I'll be honest, I'm a little nervous. I haven't seen her in 3 months. We've triggered each other's relapses before, and as much as I love her, I love me more... If that makes sense. TBH, I could not have said that just a little while ago. I really didn't love me very much. There was a lot of self loathing, guilt and shame in my life. I've worked through a lot of it, but I will always be an alcoholic.

My addiction is progressive and it doesn't go away. If I think for one minute that I can have "one drink" I'm lying. My disease doesn't go away, in fact while I'm sober, its out at the track running laps and power lifting waiting for me to come back for a rematch. This is part of why I'm here. Accountability is something I need in every aspect of my life. The gym, eating habits, brushing my teeth, making my bed, going to work... All that stuff that "normal" people don't think about every day, I have to discipline myself to do all the time. Not that its much work on the routine stuff, mind you, but if I let even little tiny behaviors slip, they snowball. If they get big enough that my head isn't where it needs to be, I won't be able to defend myself against a trigger, like someone I love relapsing.

Ultimately, I hope we've both made enough of a personal improvement that the point becomes moot. I'd love to just go on loving my wife while we are both in recovery. Right now, I actually have to just relearn who we are for a bit. And not be scared.

F.E.A.R.
Fear Everything And Run
or
Face Everything And Rise.
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Accountability is something I need in every aspect of my life. The gym, eating habits, brushing my teeth, making my bed, going to work... All that stuff that "normal" people don't think about every day, I have to discipline myself to do all the time.
Thankfully I never made it to the point where going to work felt optional, but the rest I agree with 100%. Once it's no longer routine it all turns out to be hard work just to decide to do it. Funny how that works... The habits I've been able to rebuild have got easier again but as you say if I let any of those habits slip the whole thing tends to come crashing down.
 

Cate

Support crew
I will keep my fingers crossed for both of you. It sounds like you & your family have been to hell & back. I’m glad you found your way back to the forum & I hope we can give you some moral support.
 

alligatorob

Respected Member
Hey TDT, great posts, it does help us to better understand you, but more importantly, I believe, getting it out helps you.
as much as I love her, I love me more... If that makes sense
Yes, it does make sense to me. I think it is true of us all, I don't think it is possible to love anyone more than you love yourself. That is why working on yourself helps others, it does. Ignoring your own needs only hurts others...
A few guys at work started a weight loss accountability contest. I know, I know... These things are not usually healthy...
Maybe, maybe not, it really depends on how you do it, and what you do when it ends. You can certainly turn it into something healthy, good luck with it!

Hope all works out with the wife, it sounds to me like you both are working on things pretty hard, keep that up and it has to be fine.
 
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