Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Meine Lieblingsstadt... My Favorite City

I came across this great stop-motion video of various sites in Berlin today.  It's a fantastic look at all the wonderful places that Berlin has to offer throughout the course of a single day.  This video captures the energy, life, colors, and vitality of this amazing city!

With about forty-five more pounds to go, videos like this help me to focus and keep me on track.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting back on the bike... literally

Although I have tons to write about in this blog with being a new dad and how life with a newborn has affected my weight loss effort (surprisingly its been really positive), I wanted to take a moment and make mention of a personal success that happened today.

After several years of collecting dust, I got my bicycle up and running.  This entailed a little minor maintenance, which was luckily simple.  After a full day of work, I went for a short ride around Middletown.  Altogether it was a short, flat 1.23 mile ride, it was a lot of fun and only moderately difficult.  This non-scale victory will have a resonant effect, because it is not only a great milestone, it also opens a fantastic type of activity that I enjoy and fuels my thirst for adventure.

This was a big milestone for me.  Two years ago (and 50 pounds more), this wasn't possible.  I had gotten so big that it was unsafe to ride my bike and I couldn't stay upright.  In addition, my knees hurt so bad that peddling was extremely painful.  Today, this wasn't a problem!  I'm hoping that at this time next year, I'll be riding a bike in Berlin!  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The important part about falling off the wagon is... getting back on again

This blog isn't just about reporting and celebrating my successes.  It's also about being truthful about my mistakes, so that others may profit from my journey.

The past two weeks have been difficult.  Things have been busy at work and I had some major events that I was coordinating that required significant attention.  Additionally, preparation for the coming baby and another major responsibility that I'm not at liberty to discuss have weighed heavy on my mind.  These bumps in the road caused me to fail off the wagon a bit with my weight loss efforts.  I missed my last two Weight Watchers meetings and I haven't been tracking.

This journey isn't about being perfect and it isn't about beating yourself up for past mistakes.  In a Weight Watchers meeting a few months ago, I heard from a fellow member "Turn your setback into a comeback" and that is what I intend to do with this latest deviation.

My plan is to reboot and to once again focus on tracking and boasting my activity.  In addition, I will specifically schedule my next Weight Watchers meeting for next Saturday.  I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monbijoutheater - A cool place I want to visit

Lately, whenever I feel like my weight loss resolve is being compromised or I need a boast to keep me going, I do some virtual sight-seeing to remind me what I am working towards.  For me, Berlin isn't just a place to take a vacation.  It represents adventure and the freedom to have new experiences.  This is also a big part of my motivation to loss weight.  Nothing fuels me more than imagining myself 100 lbs lighter, being able to roam and explore this city rich in history, meeting new people and experiencing a multitude of cultural events.  It may sound odd, but it works for me.

Yesterday, while I was doing my virtual sight-seeing, I came across the Monbijoutheater.  This open amphitheater is located on the eastern bank of the Spree River across from Museum Island in the Mitte District of Berlin.  This is essentially the very heart of Berlin in an area filled with museums, boat tours along the Spree, fantastic restaurants and beach parties complete with sand on the river.

The design of the theater has the look of a Elizabethan playhouse complete with wooden benches and open timber.   The performances range from concerts to Shakespearian plays.  In fact they are performing Ein Sommernachtstraum (A Midsummer Night's Dream) this July.   The entire venue is in the shadow of the Bode Museum at the tip of Museum Island.  It looks incredible and I'm looking forward to attending a show there when I hit my 100 lbs mark!

Half way to Berlin! - Two milestones in one week

Last Saturday, I had my weekly weigh-in and I came in at 299.8 lbs.  This marks a double milestone.  First, I crossed the 300 lbs mark.  Second, this weigh-in puts me at a 50.8 total lbs lost.  That is over half way to my goal of 100 lbs and puts me half way to going to Berlin!

Sometimes I like to picture my success in physical terms.  I imagine the distance I have traveled between here and Berlin on a map relative to the amount of weight that I have lost.  Since I am now at the half point, I used a website called "Let's Meet in the Middle" to show me where exactly that is.  The map below shows that I am currently in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean just past Greenland.

The first time I went through Weight Watcher, I hit this same 50 lbs mark and received a success token.  Because I rebooted my weight loss after gaining it all back, I regained this success token this week.  It's nice to feel that I've truly earned this reward again.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Power of the Anchor

Last week at our weekly Weight Watchers meeting, we talked about anchors.  Not the heavy, iron kind.  An anchor is a reminder that helps you stay grounded and focused on your goals.  This object could be real or in your imagination.  As long as you can turn to it in your time of need.

Included in our weekly bulletin was a series of questions to help guide a member through selecting and using their anchor.  I decided to take the opportunity to make a blog post where I responded to these questions.  Here we go..... (my responses are underlined)

What's you trouble spot?  Think of a situation where you typically struggle to avoid overeating.  It could be dining out with friends, the weekly lunch meeting at work, or when you're stress or upset.

My trouble spot is when I am at work and things are very hectic, but I have not planned ahead and packed good options for the day.

How do you want to feel in that situation?  Confident?  In control of your choices?  Determined to succeed?

I want to feel calm and not stressed.  When I'm stressed or short on time, I simply grab something quickly.  If I'm calm and collected, I can think of ways to make better choices.

Now conjure up a past time when you had those positive feelings and you totally nailed it.  for instance you might have felt determination as you did your first 5K race.  Immerse yourself in that time: See what you saw, hear what you heard, and feel what you felt.

How I felt: I'm thinking back to my first year on weight watchers, specifically in the meetings that I attended.  I did very well during this time and lost almost 60 pounds.  I felt extremely confident and that I could face all the challenges ahead of me.  I saw the new possibilities available to me and heard the success stories of other members.

Now pick your anchor.  Anything that reminds you of that feeling - a gesture, word, or object - will work.  Perhaps the 5K medal you were awarded at the end of the race?

My anchor is my 33rd Degree Masonic ring.  This object reminds me of my hard work and brings me confidence.  It reminds me of new possibilities and of the successful brothers that I know.  It helps me to remember that I can overcome the challenges before me.

Make the positive connection: Look at your anchor (or think of it if it's not a physical thing) and call up those good feelings.  Keep doing it, and over time it'll become second nature.

How is this working for me:  Very well so far.  I always wear my ring, so it's always on me.  When I face a challenge that I need to face, I rub my ring between my fingers.  I have used it to fend off the wicked candy bowl that coworkers leave in the beak room and to fight the urge to pillage the snack cabinet in the office.

Finally, practice using it as defense!  Imagine the challenging situation, then wield your anchor - and focus on the feeling that helps you make good-for-you choices.  Rehearse often so anchoring is automatic and helpful.

Tips from members and my leader:  Make the anchor something visual that you can always turn to when you need it.  One member recommended her weight-loss chart on your WW phone app.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The past two weeks

The past two weeks have been a little packed and I haven't had a chance to write an update.  Although, I fell off the wagon of writing a positive thought publicly each day, I made it a point to focus on this internally, which was very successful.

As for my other goals, here's a quick look at how I did:

  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day. - Mostly successful.  I did have 2-3 days where I didn't track each day (because of the Memorial Day weekend and multiple events).  However, I still made good choices and didn't fall off the deep end with what I ate.
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule. - Successful.  I have continued walking almost ever day and have found specific times to go out and get active.
  • No cigar smoking during the workday. - Mostly successful.  I have significantly decreased my cigar smoking, however I did have two days last week where I went out for one during the workday.  I'm going to refocus on this goal and attempt to scale back even more this week.
  • 7000 steps per day - Successful.  I have been meeting this goal consistently and on days where I schedule extra activity, I can get into the 12,000-15,000 step range.  Unfortunately, my pedometer somehow reset itself and I lost all my data :(
These efforts continue to produce good results.  At my weigh-in on Sat. 5/24, I lost 1.6 lbs.  At my weight-in on Sat 5/31, I stayed the same, which isn't a bad result after a holiday weekend with several events.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Daily Positive Thought - Friday, May 23

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity...."
 My daily positive thought today is about my brothers.  Not my brothers of blood, but my brothers of spirit.  Fourteen years ago, I became part of a worldwide brotherhood of men dedicated to the ideals of brotherly love, relief and truth.  As Freemasons, we understand that we are imperfect men, but that it is our quest for an unobtainable moral perfection which makes us good.

I can walk into an country or city on earth and find a brother who will greet me as family and in whom I can trust.  From these men, I gain incalculable strength and to these men, I dedicate my energies.  I am truly blessed to have joined in this fellowship.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daily Positive Thought - Thursday, May 22

My daily positive thought today is about my great family.  I've been blessed with a wonderful and supportive family.  They are always there when I need them for support.

Within the next two months, my family is going to grow by one.  I'm looking forward to welcoming this new person into our family!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Daily Positive Thought - Wednesday, May 21

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela"
My daily positive thought is to remind myself of the many times that I have had setbacks in life, but was able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and kept going.  I didn't let these failures stop me and I learned from them.

My character isn't measured by my successes, it's measured by how I faced my failures.

This week's goal - Recording Daily Positive Thoughts

I am not a positive person.  At best, I could be considered a realist, at worst, a pessimist.  I focus on the negative elements in life.  I've never been one to look on the sunny-side and just simply enjoy myself.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with a focused personality and I work hard to change the negativity around me.  My pessimism is masked by dedication, which leads a lot of people to think that I'm actually a positive person.  I do believe that with hard work, a person has a chance to change their situation, but overall I agree with Thomas Hobbes when he said, "the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Unfortunately, I've learned that this isn't the best outlook on life and doesn't help with my weight loss struggle.  Focusing on the negative can wear down your resolve and make your challenges difficult to overcome.

This week, I'd like to try to focus on the bright side of life by setting the following goal.  Each day, I'll write a short blog post that relates some positive element of my life that I am thankful for.

Like last week, I plan on keeping up with my past weekly goals in addition to this new goal:
  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day.
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule.
  • No cigar smoking during the workday.
  • 7000 steps per day

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In - Saturday, May 17th

I had another good week at the scale this week on Saturday!  I weighed-in at 3.6 lbs down for a total of 45.4 lbs.  It looks like my focus is continuing to pay off :)

"7000 Steps a Day" - Weekly Goal Wrapup

Last week, I set the goal of walking 7000 steps per day and recording it via my Pedometer.  I was not strictly successful in meeting this goal.  The main problem I had was that mid-week I became ill due to side effects with my new diabetes medication, Victoza (I'll write about that soon), which left me resting for a few days.

Although I did not meet my per day goal of walking 7000 steps, I did manage to average 8828 steps per day, which was over my daily goal.  This was mainly due to having a very active day on Sunday, when Illa, some friends and I went down to New York City and did a lot of walking.

Here's a breakdown of my daily progress:

Day Steps PointsPlus
Monday 10041 6
Tuesday 12195 7
Wednesday 222 0
Thursday 4994 2
Friday 3682 1
Saturday 6433 3
Sunday 24231 17
Total 61798 36
Average 8828 5

I also set the goal of sticking with my previous weekly goals.  Here's a recap on how they went.
  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day. - I tracked every day except for Wednesday when I was feeling very ill.  (Partial Pass)
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule.  - I set and kept activity on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday.  Unfortunately, being sick also made this difficult.  (Partial Pass)
  • No cigar smoking during the workday. - I didn't have a single cigar during the workday all week (Pass)
Although I had a few bumps in the road this week, I tried to stick to my goals as well as I could.  I'm not going to let these hurdles stop my continued progress.  I found this quote today that should help me keep focused:

"The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can't let yourself be beat because of lack of effort."  -  Michael Jordan

Monday, May 12, 2014

This week's goal - 7000 Steps a Day!

I've been wearing a pedometer for the past two months and it's been really interesting to see my daily number of steps, distance walked and Weight Watchers PointsPlus earned.  However, I haven't really used it to push my daily activity.  Until now.

I'm setting my weekly goal to help me increase my exercise using my pedometer.  I'm committing myself to hit 7000 steps per day and to report on each day at the end of the week.  At the moment, I usually average about 5000 steps, so this increase won't be very much, but it will structure my activity.

In addition to this goal, I'm keeping up with my past three weekly goals:

  • Track my Weight Watchers PointsPlus each day.
  • Schedule a specific time to get activity every other day and keep to this schedule.
  • No cigar smoking during the workday.

See you next week with my progress!

"No cigars during the workday" Weekly Goal Recap

Last week, I set the goal of limiting my cigar smoking by attempting to not have cigars during the workdays.  This would change my normal routine of taking a mid day break and going to have a cigar at the Owl Shop.

I'm happy to report that I met this goal and avoided having a cigar during the workday Monday through Friday.  This was no small feat for me, since I typically use cigar smoking as a means to relax and last week was extremely stressful.

Not only did I limit my during the workday smoking, I didn't lapse into having them in the evening instead.  Altogether, I only had a single cigar all week!  This is a significant improvement.

Because of this, I am breathing better and feeling more energetic.  It also saves me some money.  I plan on sticking to this new goal this week and continuing to improve!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In - Saturday, May 10th

I had another good week at the scale on Saturday.  My efforts continue to pay off and I lost 1.6 lbs!  Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to stay for the full meeting again, because of a Masonic commitment.

Note: My starting weight is actually 350.6 lbs.  The 341 lbs was my original starting weight, but this was reset at my highest in June of 2012.

Celebrating Non-Scale Victories

One great element of the Weight Watchers program is their celebration of non-scale victories.  These are victories that are not connected to the scale and are very helpful when you work hard but don't see a change at the scale.  Examples of non-scale victories are going down a notch on your belt, being able to run further than before or sticking with a new routine.  Although last week was a successful week at the scale, I also had a nice non-scale victory as well.

I am an active Freemason and am a proud member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.  A significant aspect of the Scottish Rite is the portrayal of ceremonial plays, where our members act  as characters from many periods in history.  Last monday, we conducted a ceremony where I portrayed a knight.  I have acted in this role many times over the past few years, but this time was different.

Normally, the costume that I use for the ceremony does not fit quite right because I was too large.  It wouldn't close in back and I would be forced to tie or pin it closed and hide the impromptu fixes with my cape.

However, much to my surprise this past Monday, the costume fit extremely well and closed without any further assistance.  My efforts since last December, when I last wore the costume, have paid off quite nicely and fitting into the costume was a great non-scale victory!

Monday, May 5, 2014

This week's goal - No cigars during the workday

One extremely bad habit that I have for my health is cigar smoking.  I used to be a cigarette smoker about a decade ago, but I quit cigarette's about seven years ago and haven't had one since.  Unfortunately, when I was extremely stressed and depressed after my father passed away two years ago, I took up cigars.

During my medical physical last week, my doctor performed a lung capacity test on me and the results were not good.  The cigar smoking has dramatically affected me.  Luckily, she said it was reversible, if I cut out the cigars.

Now, giving them up cold turkey is an option, but that is extremely difficult and may ultimately backfire on me.  So, I'm going to try it one step at a time.  This week, I'm setting the goal of not having a cigar during the workday.  Typically, I will take a lunch or a midday break to have a cigar, but this week I will attempt to pass on those.  If this is successful, I can then attempt to scale back more.

As with all my weekly goals, I'll check back in next Monday with an update.  Wish me luck!

"Scheduling Time for Activity" Weekly Goal Recap

Last week, I set the weekly goal of scheduling time every other day to get activity and to use that scheduled time.

I'm pleased to announce that I met this weekly goal last week with a slight adjustment.  I used my Google Calendar to schedule these times and used the event invite feature to invite my wife and keep me accountable.

To quantify this goal a bit, the added exercise amounted to about 26 Activity Points on the Weight Watchers plan.  This was based on averaging 3 Activity Points during each walk (M, Th, F) and a whopping 17 Activity Points on Sunday due to our baby shower, its preparation and cleanup (I used my WW pedometer to track my points).

I'm going to continue this behavior this week and schedule out my activity again.

Weekly Weight-In - Down 1.6 lbs!

I stopped by Weight Watchers on Saturday and did my weekly weight-in.  Although normally I stay for the full meeting, I wasn't able this past weekend because my family and I were extremely busy preparing for our Baby Shower.

It looks like my latest efforts are starting to pay off.  I was down 1.6 lbs from the week before.  I believe that this is a direct result of my consistent tracking and regular activity!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Making adjustments, but staying with my weekly goal

Sometimes, life (and the weather) gets in the way of our best laid plans.  Yesterday was one of those times.

Previously, I set the goal of "scheduling time every other day to get activity and to use that scheduled time."  So, I set the following events up on my calendar:

Monday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Wednesday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Friday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Sunday - All day - Setting up for the Baby Shower
Yesterday, it rained heavily in the evening, so we couldn't walk around outside.  At this point I had two options, find another activity to do inside or reschedule.  Unfortunately, the cottage is not ideal for any real sort of inside exercise, so I moved the event on my calendar to tonight.  The weather should be clear tonight and we'll definitely be able to walk.

The take-home message here is that making adjustments shouldn't be an exception to your plan, it should be part of it.  I could have simply became frustrated and cancelled it all together.  Instead, I consciously adjusted my plan while still keeping with it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

This week's goal - Scheduling Time for Activity

During my weekly Weight Watcher's meeting last Saturday, our WW leader had a slide on her clipboard that read:

Last week was                          
so I'm going to                            

She asked each of us to fill in the blanks and I decided to share mine.  Here is what I filled in:

Last week was  really busy with work, so I didn't get much activity
because  I didn't have a lot of extra time and I made work a priority 
so I'm going to  make 'me' a priority and pre-schedule blocks of time for me to get activity 

This dovetailed nicely with my idea of setting weekly goals that I can achieve.  So, this week, I'm going to set my goal based on this exercise.  My goal this week will be to schedule time every other day to get activity and to use that scheduled time.

I have scheduled the following blocks of time to get activity:

Monday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Wednesday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Friday - 5:30-6:00 - Walk around Indian Cove before dinner
Sunday - All day - Setting up for the Baby Shower

I'll report back next week on how successful I was.

Tracking Goal Recap

Last week, I set a goal that I would track what I ate for the next week based on the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program.  I am pleased to announce that I successfully completed this goal, having tracked all my food from last Monday to today.

This goal has helped me get back on track with watching what I eat and I plan on continuing it for the foreseeable future.

At my weekly Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday, I talked about this goal and the WW leader gave me a bravo sticker.  These bravo stickers are good motivators for rewarding non-scale victories, such as setting a goal and achieving it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Inspirational people in my life - My wife Illa

I have several people in my life that have faced their own weight loss challenges and have been quite successful.  There will be reoccurring posts on this blog called "Inspirational people in my life", where I will highlight a different person and talk about their successes.  I hope that their example will serve as my own personal inspiration.  Here is my first such post:

My wife, Illa is my most important weight loss inspiration.  Both she and I, gained some significant weight while we were finishing up our undergraduate degrees due to the long hours, high stress and bad eating habits.  In 2009, I joined Weight Watchers and shortly thereafter she did as well.

Over the next year or so, she lost about sixty pounds and kept it off.  In addition to doing extremely well with program, she joined Weight Watchers as a receptionist (note:  All Weight Watcher's employees have gone through the program and have been successful).

She is a constant inspiration in my life and reminds me that I can do better and be successful, not only in weight loss, but in all elements of my life.  She also assists me directly in making better decisions with my food choices, encourages me to get more activity, and reminds/pokes me to attend my weekly Weight Watchers meeting.  Illa is totally awesome and I'm very lucky to have her around.

Illa is one of my inspirations!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gramin Velothon Berlin

In my Facebook news feed, I am subscribed to several Berlin-focused blogs and websites, which allows me to see several cool events, activities and new locations as they appear on these sites.

Recently on Visit Berlin, I saw the Gramin Velothon Berlin, a 60 km Bike race throughout Berlin.  It looks like a really awesome course to see a fair amount of Berlin.

Here are the details about the event:
The Garmin Velothon Berlin - that is Cycling for everyone at the highest level. Since its premiere in May 2008, the event has established itself as the second largest cycle race of its kind in Europe. The attractive route along major attractions and the concept of a city cycling race attract over 13,000 participants who create a cycling festival in the German capital.
  • Completely closed roads for traffic
  • Participation in a team or as solo-driver
  • Race-Highlights: "Brandenburger Tor", "Potsdamer Platz", "Tempelhof Airport", "Eastside-Gallery", "Regierungsbezirk", "Siegessäule","Straße des 17. Juni"
  • Two distances: 60-km distance for beginners and hobby drivers, 120 km distance for ambitious cyclists
  • Attractive fair program on 7,000 sqm
  • "Kid's Velothon" for children and young people
  • "Straße des 17. Juni" as finishing line
  • 250.000 spectators along the route
Here is a map of the course:

Taking a long bike ride through Berlin sounds like a great trip.  Berlin is fairly flat and is not overly congested.  It's filled with large spaces filled with trees and shade, and just outside of central Berlin are lakeside areas.

I don't think I'll make it there on May 18th of this year, but perhaps I'll have a chance to ride the same path next year.  Although I will most likely not participate in a large biking event like this (I hate crowds), this is a good way to plan for an extended biking trek.  Plus with Deutsche Bahn's Call-a-Bike program, it's easy for tourists like me to rent a bike.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tracking - My goal for this week

I've been a Weight Watchers member for about five years now.  It's a great program and when I focused on it, it really worked for me.

My first year at Weight Watchers I lost 64 lbs.  Unfortunately, because of this success, I thought I was "cured" and I didn't need to focus on the techniques I learned.  I was totally wrong.  The weight quickly came back when I stopped tracking, reduced my meeting attendance and didn't get as much activity.  Because of this, I've had a bit of a roller-coaster ride the past few years.

The most important tools that I learned at Weight Watchers was tracking.  The simple action of writing down what you eat really helped me.  Tracking forced me to reflect on what I was eating, which helped me make better choices.  Combining this with the Weight Watchers PointsPlus system, helps to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Screenshot of my Tracker on the Weight Watchers website

With this in mind, the goal that I'm setting for this week is simply to track.  I'll use the iPhone Weight Watchers app to track my food.  Next Monday, I'll report back on the blog and see how many days I was able to track in the past week.

100 Pounds to Berlin

Hi, my name is Charles and I'm a big guy.  I have been since I was a young boy and it's been a constant struggle over the years.

Below is a photo with my wife, Illa and my mother.  Illa and I are expecting our first child in July.  Although I have many reasons to get healthy and lose weight, my primary reason is for my unborn child.  I want to be able to live to see it (we're waiting on finding out the sex) grow up and I want to be able to actively participate in its upbringing.

I'm starting this blog out of a conversation that Illa and I had recently.  We were discussing positive reinforcement and I was trying to coming up with a longer term weight goal and methods to help me attain it.  After some discussion, we came up with the goal of "100 lbs to Berlin", where if I lose a total of 100 lbs from my highest weight, we'll start planning our next trip to Berlin, Germany.

We went to Berlin in 2011 and I fell in love with the city.  I was enamored by its history, life and cosmopolitan atmosphere.  Having studied German history and language for several years, I found visiting Berlin to be a life-changing experience.

This blog is going to be become my personal repository of thoughts, ideas, items of inspiration and updates on my progress.  I will also use it as a sort of virtual travel blog about Berlin to help me keep my eye on my goal.

So, my first update is setting my goal.  Here's a chart of my weight loss history starting in June of 2009 when I first joined Weight Watchers (a great program that I'll talk more about later):

My highest weight was 351 lbs in June of 2012 and I'm currently at 312 lbs.  Therefore, my goal is 251 lbs.  This isn't my ultimate healthy goal, but it is my long term goal that I'm setting as my benchmark for my "100 lbs to Berlin" challenge.  Stay tuned for more updates!