Friday, July 25, 2008

Thinking about the past

Damn you! A website where people from High School or College can find out what old classmates are up to these days. I've had a profile for quite a few years and get emails some times about people visiting it. I recently figured out that I can also look for college friends (I previously just thought it was mostly about High School connections). I had to grab my college year books to remember who people where. As usually with this site no one I liked or hung out with is on the site. It did prompt me to contact the Alumni department and get them to send me a yearbook for a year I didn't have! The yearbook and the search for old friends on brought be down memory lane. So let me tell you a little bit about where I spent my first years out of high school.

I attended Whitworth College in Spokane WA. A small Presbyterian college set on a beautiful campus in a small eastern Washington town. I attended Santiam High School in Mill City OR population 1500 or so and the student body was about 200 and my class had something less than 40 students. So I wanted to go to a smaller college where I would have the chance to participate in all sorts of things and not be thought of as a number. Whitworth is a unique school I think. It has a lot of tradition probably like most Colleges do. There is a religious feel to the school but it wasn't overbearing. At the time I enrolled I had all sorts of ambitions. I started out as a Psychology major with the idea of being a youth councilor either through the church or professionally. Within the first year I realized that psychology majors where CRAZY! I also found a job within my first month on campus working for the stage crew. I was always into theater in high school and I even had a drama course I was taking. I quickly changed my major to theater at that point. I schemed my way into taking a winter term in London to study theater and funding it with my student loans. I spent the following summer living on campus and working to pay it all back. I ate spagetti-o's and Top Ramen all summer. The next year I took a computer programming class to fulfill a math requirement. Turns out I loved computer programming and was quite good at it. I got an A without trying too hard. So I switched my major again to computer science. I also found out that there was good money in programming and the hours were a lot more regular than theater. I spent my next summer working at a theater arts camp on California where I met my wife. I took a year off from school and then returned the following fall. It turned out to be too hard to work, go to school and be married all at the same time and something had to give. So I left half way into my 3rd year and moved back to Southern California where my wife's family lived and started my career in computers.

I have often thought about my time at Whitworth over the years. I don't regret making the decision to leave and my choices afterwards have led me to some great memories. But I do wonder what happened to the people I knew then. Where are they now and what type of choices did they make. It was a great time. I was young but independent. I lived in a dorm my first year and then moved off campus during my 2nd year. I hung out with the stage crew and the the staff the managed it. I didn't get involved in as many other groups or activities as I thought I would. The college was huge compared to my high school days. The other day I was thinking back about how we used to play Frisbee golf on campus during lunch breaks in the summer. The course was so unmarked that if you didn't learn it from someone else you'd never know where it was. So I googled Whitworth College Frisbee Golf and found this link called 95 things I love about Whitworth written by a student Dec 2007. Most of it I connect with except for the newer stuff since I was there from 81-84. Looks like the Frisbee (disc) golf is alive and well. Of course they are now called Whitworth Univerity, I don't know when that happened? When I ordered the missing yearbook I sent my payment in for it and got a letter back thanking me for my donation so I guess now I am an official donor to the school?

Anyway. Fond memories.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There is less of me lately

I've always been a big guy. I'm 6' 2" and large framed. I've always weighed more than I look like I do. In fact I remember once when I was at a amusement park as a teenager and they had a guy with a scale that would give you a prize if he couldn't guess your weight with a certain percentage. With the range he allowed for error very few people got anything. But when I walked up there he was amazed at how much I weighed compared to his guess. Wow, a prize for being heavy...who'd have thought?

My size was perfect for playing football at a single A high school for 4 years. I was one of the bigger guys so I played offensive guard and defensive end and was on the field for most of every game. After high school and on to college I wasn't as active and on went the pounds. I spent a summer after my 2nd year in sunny California and lost most of those pounds NOT eating the lousy food at the camp I worked at. It was the first and last time I ever had a tan too. I got married that fall and then the pounds started coming back on again over the years.

When I turned 30 I figured I REALLY needed to do something about my growing weight. So I put myself on a medically supervised fast and lost all of it in about 6 months. I wish I could go back now and tell myself to enjoy the huge weight loss but instead I really didn't change my life that much and in time I gained it all back and more. I did the fast again about 7 years later. Lost almost as much as the first time in 6 months again. I was good at the fasting with no food options but it makes you a little crazy from the deprivation and is hard to control your appetite when you go back to eating. You feel SO good for being so much smaller that you think you can eat anything. And I have always been able to eat a LOT!

Well it's been about 8 years since I last did the fast and with the working from home thing for the past 3 years I have really put on the weight. I didn't want to do the fast and wanted to make a change that would be more permanent. I also wanted to lose more weight but at a MUCH slower rate so I can keep it off. So a couple of months ago something in my head just clicked. I started eating the amount of food a day that I would if I weighed what I want to weigh. And over the past few months the pounds have just started melting off. Not something you could really notice since I weighed so much to begin with. Like I said I never look as heavy as I really am. I figure at this rate it will probably take me 2 years to get to a healthy weight but I will probably be able to keep it off this time.

At my annual doctor visit at the beginning of this year I weighed in significantly more than I did the previous year (a whole year of working from home at a desk). My doctor suggested I try to lose a few pounds before my next visit. He also suggested just trying to loose a little bit. He said the people who are successful at keeping it off are ones that loose it slowly.

What I find amazing is that even though it hasn't even been 2 months yet the weight I have lost has made me feel like a whole different person. I already have more energy and am not as winded as I used to be going up stairs. I'm still a VERY big person and have a LONG way to go but I am encouraged by the way I feel already.

Here is a link to some calculators that might help?