Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tonight's Tourney - My Long Journey

If life were a Venn diagram, and you occupied the nail-thin sliver of Union between "Those who were interested in tonight's re-inaugural Very Josie" and "Those who did not play in tonight's re-inaugural Very Josie," I daresay you could find sufficient recounts of it by more successful runners than Your Obedient Servant. More entertaining, too, I'd warrant; nothing particularly noteworthy happened to me, with the sole exception of having my pocket 10s being sucked out on majestically by Grrouchie, who would eventually place, with 24o. Yep - I got Grumped, right in the ass. And to further add to the shame, none other than Poker Grump himself was actually sitting at the very table, making this an epic Grump, a 'Babe-Ruth-Pointing-His-Home-Run' once in a generation moment.

However majestic the moment, however, the cold reality that I lost a big chunk of my chips started to set in. And right around then, this was perhaps ten hands into the final table, I came down card dead. Stack creeps down down down, blinds soar up up up. Meet the new Very Josie; same as the old Very Josie. Went in with maybe 7 or 8 blinds left with double paint, got crushed by AA which held up stoically, and that was the story of me. Finished 6th in a field of 12 - the very definition of poker mediocrity.

Be that as it may, congrats to the winners, thanks Auntie Jo for the hosting duties (hee hee - duties) and look forward to the next one.


Here's something, but it needs a bit of mildly embarrassing background first.

See, here's the thing: I've been overweight just about my entire life. Even as I child, though I wasn't one of those modern-day aberrations, almost perfectly round, forged by 6 pounds of sugar a day and three different video game systems; I was an outside kid, like all of us back then, but I had a roll above my belt for which I caught a lot of shit.

Fat kid grew up to be fat man. Weight blossomed to a high of 285-ish. 46 inch waist vs. a 30 inch inseam. Used sentence fragments. One after another after another. Cool quirky literary device at first. Tiresome and obnoxious after. Overuse.

I discovered the Atkins diet and lost 75 pounds, settling there for two full years. I think my fighting weight was 206. I lost just a hair under ten inches around my waist and a full inch and a half off my neck.

After I got off Atkins I gained back perhaps 10 pounds and stayed there more or less for yet another year. But even not being on the Atkins diet, there were still elements of it that colored my daily choices: juice, for example, would never touch my lips again. Similarly did I realize that sugared soda was one of the worst substances you can ingest into your body. And for some reason I remember quite vividly that if I start drinking sugared soda, I've ceased caring utterly about my food choices and it's time to stop the party and have some discipline.

Well, fast-forward quitting smoking, and ten years of slow weight gain, and some time last year I found myself once again wearing size 46 pants and 4X shirts and such. I realized that I was once again drinking sugared soda and knew that something had to be done.

So just to start off I guess, and to get the easy stuff out of the way, I just stopped drinking sugared soda. And would you believe that just by doing that one thing I lost more than 20 friggin' pounds! With just about no effort whatsoever I dropped a full pants size and that made me pretty happy.

So there I stayed, about 20 pounds under my heaviest weight and not really travelling much up or down over a few months. Then, here maybe two weeks ago, I made another pretty small tweak to my choices (no more refined flour or sugar, pretty much cutting out simple carbs in giant quantities, like a giant grocery store muffin or a heaping plate of white spaghetti) and damned if I didn't drop another entire pants size! I'm a comfortable 42 waist and judging from where I am mentally I think that I could get down another pants size, maybe even two, before my motivation starts to cool.

I think that the total amount of weight I've lost thus far is maybe 35 pounds, maybe a little more. I could easily hit 50 pounds gone without too much effort. I tell you what - that will be a REALLY good day for me.

Over and above the cosmetic benefits of losing weight, it's just a fact that as you get older your body becomes less tolerant of extra weight. Think about it: how many fat old men do you know? That's a thought that takes root sometimes. Believe it. So yeah, for all those reasons and more, the day I lose 50 pounds, I'm letting the world know.

Oh, and regarding the Crafty and Skinny Southpaw: I have pictures, haters. I have pictures.


  1. Gary, this talk of weight loss is inspiring me to really take up the fight again.

    Your story sounded just like mine. Lost a bunch of weight. Slowly gained a bunch of it back to a pretty steady albeit too heavy regular weight. Quit smoking and ballooned to about 30 pounds over my heaviest weight. Finally feeling like I need to do something about it.

    The breaking point was when I realized I was holding my breath to tie my shoes. Isn't that pathetic? I'm going after this with a fervor and you and I are going to look like Brad Pitt and David Beckham before you know it. (Or if you prefer, Paul and John in their prime. Speaking of...did you catch Sir Paul on the Grammys?)

  2. Hmmm,
    I coulda swore it was I who sucked out on your TT when you called my UTG Push with the Grump.
    Alas, I did not place, only finished 5th

  3. Congrats on the weight loss.
    While no where near as good as you in choosing my foods I am turning to exercise currently to relieve me of my unwanted pounds.
    In the past 3/4 weeks I have dropped 6 pounds which is not much, but it's a start.
    If I can get down to about the 220 mark I'll be very happy and as I continue to exercise and lose and feel better about myself I plan on slowly tweaking my daily intake of crap.
    I have been eating more Fruits for snacks lately, I only drink Diet soda and I am limiting my "eating out" to only when I go out with a lady friend.
    I miss my chips lol.

  4. How do you cut out refined flower? So white pasta is flower and grain pasta is not and is better for you?

    I have been wanting to throw on some healthy eating choices for the diet too... removing the coke would be a good start.. trying not to get too Jihad about it since I have a lot of other things I am working on..

  5. Congrats on the weight loss.

    grrouchie is correct, he was the one who sucked out on your 10's with the Grump. At least I know for sure it wasn't me. I never had the Grump all night.

    But it was me who busted you out with AA that actually held up.

    Great playing with you and everyone, just wish the chat worked better.

  6. Congrats on the weight loss. You know, though, when you "Used sentence fragments. One after another after another. Cool quirky literary device at first. Tiresome and obnoxious after. Overuse." you make yourself sound like the stereotypical comic book guy from the Simpsons.

  7. @grrouchie, my apologies, the change has been made. It was YOU who took a crap hand and cracked my pocket 10's. Mazel Tovs all around. And congrats on the weight loss too; I know how tough every little victory is.

    @JT, I've been around the block long enough to know that sweeping declarative statements on weight loss aren't often wise, but I'm gonna see where this goes and we'll take it from there. And it would take more than weight loss for me to look like anything other than your accountant Morty.

  8. @Waffles, without getting too complicated, yes, refined (white) flours are way worse for you than whole wheat flours. It has to do with how fast the body burns that energy. Refined flour burns quickly - the starch turns to sugar virtually immediately - and so your insulin spikes, which is bad on two levels; your body turns that surplus energy to stored fat, and your body becomes gradually less sensitive to the insulin your pancreas works harder and harder to put out.

    Research the topic "The Glycemic Index" and "Glycemic Load" to get a better idea of the whole concept of bad carbs vs. slightly better carbs. And yes, the rule of thumb is almost 100% accurate: if it's white, it isn't right.

    I'm kind of an expert on this, albeit a fat load expert, so if you have any further questions drop me an email and we can discuss the matter further if you wish.

  9. @Rob, quite agree on the comment system. What a drag!

    @PMeister - Long time buddy! Hope you're well. Yeah, the reference to Comic Book Guy was lost on me, I've never been a Simpsons guy. For me, Family Guy all the way, but vive La Difference, oui?

  10. Incentive for losing weight? Starting NOW lose 25lbs and you get something good from me. You know how you like the naughty secretary look? How bout a picture of that?

  11. Well, Jos, sure - I think if you're looking for a way to get me to stop eating, a picture of you trying to look sexy ought to do it nicely.

    See, now that's what they call a JOKE, so just take it easy.

  12. NEVER MIND!!!!! Incentive has been retracted!

    See? That's NOT a joke. :P

  13. For the best. Any weight I'd lose would be made up for with one freakishly muscular arm.

  14. Is that offer for any of us fat tubs of lard or just Gary?

  15. JT, don't be fooled; that offer wasn't really even for me.

  16. JT That offer is for you and Gary ONLY. (no one else) 25lbs! You will be on your honor - not 23 lbs or 24, but 25.

    Totally worth it JT. I suggest you start RIGHT NOW. :)

  17. For sale: Naughty Secretary picture of Josie. Leaves just enough to the imagination. E-mail offers to wackinoff@hotmail.com.

  18. Lightning, nobody wants a picture of any woman that's been in your possession for more than five minutes. Let's just say that we all know that's not donut glaze, ok?