Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Quick Note

Since I've been off from work, I've had a terrible habit of ignoring my bed time. It's almost 1:00am and I'm still up dinking around on the computer.

I've had a few pieces of candy today.  I'm not too concerned because I went to the gym.  Yesterday I ate at Chipotle and YIKES!  Did you know a Chipotle burrito with rice, beans, meat, corn salsa, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce is around 1000 calories?  Let me reiterate, 1000 calories!  It's deceptive because their ingredients seem fresher than most fast food.  At least nothing is fried.  Anyway, I still managed to stay around 2500 calories for the day.

I've had a lot of people show me websites that may help me with my journey.  Thank you.  Any tools I can use on my journey I will take.  Keep 'em coming.

Lisa suggested a website called Spark People.  I signed up for an account but haven't delved in too deep yet.  Liza suggested Healthy Wage.  Does anyone know if this one is legit?  I've started researching websites to train for a 5k, but I'd like to do that sometime next fall, so now I just need to focus on making my joints not hurt when I run.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On Being Fat (a flashback)

Before this blog, I had another.  I wasn't as diligent at posting and it eventually just fell apart.  I did have some success.  I lost around 20 pounds and most of it stayed off.  I ran hard and ended up having trouble with my knees and feet.  I'd like to go back to running, but I can't until I get some more weight off so I don't put as much stress on my joints.

The first picture is what I looked like 21.5 pounds ago when I made the first entry in my old blog.  The second picture is what I look like now.



I just stepped on my scale.  313.2.  This is the heaviest any scale has ever said I was.  I'm ready to change something.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.  Every day I grow more and more frustrated with my weight. 

I'm sick of my stomach touching the table when I get into a booth at a restaurant.  I'm sick of dreading going shopping for fear that I'll need to move up a pants size.  I'm sick of having to stretch out a tshirt after I put it on.  I'm sick of no longer being able to wear my favorite tshirts because my belly hangs out the bottom and the fabric is stretched tight showcasing my love handles.  I'm sick of being compared to fat celebrities.  For a while it was Mikey from Orange County Chopper, then it was Hurley from Lost, most recently it was John Goodman.  Christ, I'm being compared with John Goodman.

I'm finding myself hyper-aware of certain things.  Namely, my eating habits in public.  I feel like people expect me to eat too much so I have to be careful what I consume in front of others.  I always feel like the weird, fat guy in any social situation.  I feel like I have to be funnier and smarter than everyone around me to make up for my grotesque body.  My fiancee claims my weight doesn't bother her, but she's worried about my health.

The real clincher for me is I want to wear a regular vest at my wedding.  I think tuxedo bibs are the most ridiculous looking thing on the planet but the people at the Men's Wearhouse told me they didn't have a vest small enough.  That's it.  Something needs to change. 

I've had problems with sticking to weight loss plans in the past.  It might be because I have ADD.  It might be because I was in a transitional place in my life.  It might be because I wasn't ready.  It might be because I use food as a crutch to deal with stress.  It might be because I made excuses about exercise.

Whatever it is or was, it's going to change right now.  I figure blogging about my journey might make this time the time I actually lose the weight.

Well, I didn't lose all the weight.  But over 20 pounds is nothing to shake a stick at.  This time, I feel like my goals are more firmly laid out and I'm a little wiser.  I notice a difference in the pictures, though not as much as I want (I wish I had stood sideways as well because I feel like that would show the most loss).  My fiancee is now my wife and even though I still had to wear a stupid looking bib instead of a vest, I don't regret any of the running I did.  I'm not as self-conscious as I was when I wrote this.  I think a big part of this is that I'm doing something about my weight.  Let's see where I go next.

Back to the Weigh-In Schedule

Thanks to Julia for showing me the WebMD Portion Size Plate.  It's a great visual guide for portion sizes.  Through a series of pictures, it gives you a very good idea of how much you're eating.  For instance, I had no idea I was eating at least 2 servings of chicken every time I had a chicken breast.

The site also has a Food and Fitness Planner that's very similar to the WeightWatchers online tools.  It bills itself more as a meal planner.  You input your weight, height, waist size, gender, age, activity level, and weight goal.  It will tell you how many calories you should take in per day.  You can then plan out a menu and it will show you how close you are to your calorie limit.  You can also add exercise.

I weighed myself at 10:00 instead of at 8:00 like I wanted to but not much changed.  I went to the gym today at 7:30 and grocery shopping after that.  I noticed that the floor in my bathroom is not level and if I move the scale even an inch in any direction, the reading will fluctuate by up to 10 pounds.   I taped the floor where I set the scale so I should be able to set it in the exact same spot from here on out.  291.7 may not be entirely accurate, but I'll take it.  That means I've lost a total of 4.3 pounds.  It's been a slow start, but hopefully the weight loss will pick up once I get things figured out.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back in Minneapolis

I'm back in Minneapolis.  Planning on going to the gym tonight.  Stay tuned tomorrow for an updated weigh-in.  I'm quite nervous.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Incentives and Ideas

The wife and I got a little money for Christmas.  It will probably go into savings or something boring and responsible like that.  I'm going to advocate for some money to be set aside to buy a toy for the camera.  I'm very quickly becoming a photography nerd and have my sights set on a flash gun.  Anyway, I think I'll put it on the list and see what happens.

I've come up with a couple more ideas.  I found a website with a training program for doing 100 push-ups.  You test yourself at the beginning of a 6-week course and follow the appropriate schedule of how many push-ups to do at a time, then reassess every two weeks.  This is a goal I'd like to be able to realize.  My brother, who is studying in England has offered to start this with me in the middle of January.

The second idea I've come up with is taking a picture of everything I eat for a week and post it to the blog.  I think it would make me aware of what I put in my body and accountable for it as well.

I keep coming up with all these little ideas but I've had trouble following through with anything I've done so far.  I also don't want to bite off more than i can chew.  I still have trouble keeping things out of my mouth and I can't seem to make myself get as active as I want to be. 

The prospect of training for 100 push-ups really excites me.  I feel it's a long-term goal that isn't really long-term.  My record for doing push-ups is 30 at a time.  That's up from around 10.  I feel like 100 push-ups is attainable.  It will be something I can be proud of on my journey.

Merry Christmas

This one will be short.  I just wanted to say I passed on desserts once yesterday, and plan to be careful yet today.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Thank You.

Yesterday, I posted a link to my blog on Facebook.  Since then, I've gotten a bunch of positive feedback from all of you.  Thank you.  It's support from all of you that will keep me focused on my goal.  I'm in my fourth week and blogging in a vacuum is tough.  I'll keep posting links and hopefully, you'll keep reading.

I've added a spaghetti measure to my rewards (thanks Julia).  It's not a wallet buster or anything, but it's really cool looking.  It uses the same aperture technology that cameras use to regulate the amount of light that hits the sensor (or film).  Find it at the A + R Store. They have some really cool kitchen and home stuff.  Check out the egg poachers.  I think I'll have to get a kitchen scale pretty soon too.

I went to the gym last night with my wife and mother-in-law.  They had the weird elliptical machines, but it wasn't a bad experience overall.  My mother-in-law spends about 20 minutes more than I do at the gym to finish her routine, so I got a chance to spend a little extra time on a treadmill.

Before I sign off, I'd just like to say thank you again.  Feel free to follow my blog.  There's a button you can click somewhere on the bottom of the bar on the right side of the screen.  You can also get it as an RSS feed somewhere on the bottom of the page.  You could also just bookmark the page.  I guess you could also click on the links I post on facebook from time to time. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New and Improved Blog

Take a look at my side bar. This is where you will now find my current weight and all sorts of ways I can mark my progress.

I'd like to institute a set of rewards, but I don't know what I should reward myself with. Any suggestions?

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Bit of Disappointment

I've been looking for more weight loss blogs. I've found plenty of failed blogs online. I'm extremely disappointed that so many people have given up.

I need to believe that I will stand by this blog for the next year and until I've lost 100 pounds.

'Nuf said.

A Taste of Failure

It's been a week since I started my one-week push. Why haven't you heard from me in that week? Because I failed to get started. I made it through one seventh of my week just fine. Tuesday was when the trouble started. I was so occupied planning my concert, I didn't get to the gym. Same thing on Wednesday. I spent Thursday evening packing and Friday driving. Saturday was a "cocktail party" my wife's cousin and his fiancee. Holy delicious chocolate. I also managed to end my 365 self portraits project on day four. Needless to say, I'm extremely ashamed of myself.

What am I going to do? I'm going to reorganize and form a new strategy. Until January 2nd, my blog entries will exist primarily as a chronicle of how I survived the holidays. I'll start my 365 days project over again when I feel ready to commit.

I'd like to hold myself responsible to the scale so I could see exactly how much damage my sinning has done, but I forgot to pack it. So for all intents and purposes, I'm going to assume my weight is about the same as last week. I hope you don't mind.

Lastly, I found a couple of good weight loss blogs to help me through my journey. I'll write more about them later, but right now I'd like to talk a little about some ideas I stole from them.

I plan on putting up a 5 pounds at a time chart that I can cross off as I progress. I'll have certain rewards for myself as I reach certain benchmarks.

I found a weight loss graph called Skinnyr. I'll be trying to embed it soon so I can be more accountable.

Weight: 295
Pounds Left: 99
Weeks Left: 49

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I ate lunch at 11:00 today. I'm freaking out quite a bit about my winter concert at work. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing next and I've hit a point where I'm stuck.

All I want to do is eat, so I ate my lunch early, hoping the blood sugar boost would help my productivity. The problem is anxiety is setting in. I can't get anything done because I'm like a deer in the headlights. The only person in the world I would admit this to is about to take a law final. Definitely not burdening her with that.

I'm not near any food, so not eating it won't be a problem.

Monday, December 14, 2009

First Weekly Weigh-In

I just weighed myself. As you know, I'm pushing hard this week. I ate less dinner today, I just had an apple as a snack instead of something more delicious or substantial (or grazing for that matter). The result is my picture of the day.


Yes, that's my belly in the way. Hopefully, that will get a little smaller this week too.

Weight: 294.7
Pounds Left: 98.3
Weeks Left: 50

Day 1 of 7

I've started.

I'm not sure what I'm doing, other than limiting my deserts, snacking, and intake in general. And exercising. Every. Single. Day. It's going to be tough. Claire's last final is tomorrow, and I'm sure she'll want to celebrate. I have a school pot-luck on Wednesday. I have my big holiday concert this Thursday, and I'm sure the stress will start to get to me. Friday, I'll be driving 5 hours. That's always a recipe for eating whatever I want. Saturday, I'm going to a "cocktail party" (a sneaky way of getting men to attend a wedding shower). After that, I'll be at the in-laws' house until a few days after Christmas. I'm NOT going to let myself get fatter over this break.

To keep myself on track, here's a list of all the food I ate today:

2 pieces of toast with peanut butter and jelly on them
1 peanut butter and jelly sandwich
celery with peanut butter (about 1 tbsp)
1 small bag of frito lays (160 cal, 90 from fat, gross)
2 apples
1 sweet and salty nut almond and yogurt bar (I'm eating this right now. It's amazing!)

For dinner I will be having Spaghetti with hamburger and red sauce. We'll see how much I'll have. I'm not exactly sure how to measure it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It Starts Tomorrow

I've been away from the blog for a few days now. I apologize. I totally fell off the horse and I'm ready to get back on. My wife has been going through the hell of law school finals and my number one motivator was too busy to motivate me.

I have managed to start my 365 days portrait project. It should dovetail nicely with the blog and my goal. Here's my first picture, taken 4 days ago. I'll catch you up once I've caught flickr up.


I'm thinking about having my picture on weigh-in days be the scale. That way I can't lie to all of you. I've also been thinking of changing days left to weeks left. It might be more meaningful to break it into weeks rather than days.

Weight: 293
Pounds Left: 97
Weeks Left: 50

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I feel fat.

I feel like the weight isn't really coming off. I feel like I'm just chronicling my day-to-day weight fluctuations. Yes, I'm feeling better by going to the gym. But I can spin my wheels all I want without dropping any substantial weight without dealing with the 800 pound gorilla in the room, my diet.

It's not like I eat that poorly. I cook for my wife and myself. I try to do everything to limit my fat intake. I substitute turkey for hamburger a lot. I rinse the fat out of hamburger I brown. I drink diet sodas and try to eat low-fat foods in general.

The real problem with my food intake lies in two places:
1. Portion control. I get soooooo hungry and eat soooooo much once I'm done cooking.
2. Snacking. I love to eat snacks. Snack's give me the energy to get through the day if I'm tired or stressed. I love Oreos, I love Junior Mints, I love popcorn, I love ice cream Snickers bars, I love caramel, I love potato chips, I love everything that's bad for me.

So what am I going to do about this? I need help dealing with my eating, but I don't know what to do about it. I've tried Weight Watchers, but I've had trouble sticking with it. And, quite frankly, I don't want to pay that much money for a set of weight and calorie tracking tools I'm going to abandon in a couple months or, more likely, weeks. I've also tried to just be mindful of my intake. I'm absolutely terrible at this. I can't do it. After a little bit, I just give up and gorge. No matter how resolved I am to restrict my intake, my cravings win in the end.

This eats me up (pardon the pun). I feel so helpless and entirely out of control. I don't know what to do next.

On a final note, my weigh in today made me decide to only weigh myself once a week. I fluctuate too much to benefit from daily weigh-ins. It's so disheartening to weigh more than I did five days ago. I need to be able to see progress.

I need to go gung-ho for a week. I don't know if I can do it with all the holiday eating coming up. I may just be able to tread water...

AHH... This is what I'm talking about! I gave up before I started. I am such a self-handicapper. Starting Monday, I will not weigh myself until the following Monday. I will eat as healthy as I know how. And I will put as much time in at the gym as possible. Let's see how much I can loose in a week.

Weight: 294.5
Pounds Left: 98.5
Days Left: 354

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Look in the Mirror

Today I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror in a t-shirt. There's definitely a difference. I look trimmer and slimmer. I think that's the most important thing. My weigh-in said differently though. I really need to stop weighing myself every day. It can be extremely disheartening when I fluctuate.

On another note, the weather outside is frightful. I'm taking a night off from the gym tonight. To compensate, I did some running down the halls of my apartment building, which is about half a block long. The hard part was running up and down the stairs. Though I didn't go for very long.

Weight: 293
Pounds Lost: 3
Days Left: 355

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm tired

I'm running on fumes at this point as I was up waayyyyyyyy past my bed time last night so I'll make this brief.

I got a phone call today saying I'd won a free month of gym dues. I think it's a sign. Success is on its way.

I went to the gym tonight and worked my butt off a little longer than normal. Half an hour on the machines rather than my normal 20 minutes. It doesn't sound like much, but I'm making progress.

I think I may want to try to run a 5k sometime in the future. I need to drop a substantial chunk of weight first, but maybe I can do it as I near my goal.

That's about it. I'm going to skip the weigh-in tonight because I just had a bunch of water and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like what the scale says. I'll weigh myself again tomorrow.

Good night.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why do I keep eating like this?

I am terrible at eating right. Seriously awful. Despite that, I seem to have been able to lose a few pounds. Maybe it's just fluctuation, but I need to reign in my terrible eating habits if I'm going to make my goal. I've also been putting off going to the gym all day. I just want to eat and eat and eat.

Weight: 292.8
Pounds Left: 96.8
Days Left: 357

Friday, December 4, 2009

I Am A Sinner

I sinned. I went three days without going to the gym. I also ate at Buca di Beppo today. My rationale: I had a coupon. I had a phenomenal lemon chicken with fettuccine Alfredo.

Anyway, I'm definitely going to the gym tonight. Gonna stay a little longer and work a little harder because I feel like I've been slacking lately.

One last idea. I'm considering starting a photography project where I take a picture of myself every day. I think it will make a nice addition to this blog. I may start tonight. I may start next week. I may not start at all. It's just rolling around in my head right now.

Weight: 293.7
Pounds Left: 97.7
Days Left: 359

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I missed a day

Yesterday, I neglected to make an entry. To make up for it, I will be writing two today. I didn't forget to write, I just put it off until after I went to the gym, which didn't happen last night. I sluffed two days in a row and need to get back to work.

On the other hand, I did make some fabulous low-fat chili. It's super easy to make too.

1 Lb Ground Turkey
2/3 Cup Water
1 Can Corn (Drained)
1 Can Salsa (16 oz or so)
1 Egg
Chili Powder To Taste (I use Franks Red Hot Sauce)

Brown the Turky and Drain
Add Water, Corn, Salsa, Egg and Chili Powder to the Turkey
Cover and Simmer for 15 minutes.

I usually serve cornbread on the side. Apparently, you can make dumplings of it as well if you pour the batter right in before you simmer the chili. You can also add whatever else you like. I'm not a bean-eater, but I'm sure a lot of people would like this recipe with beans.

Weight: 295
Pounds Left: 99
Days Left: 360

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It was a little too good to be true.

So I discovered today why I shouldn't weigh myself every day. I'm back to 295. I know a lot of it is just day-to-day fluctuation, but I'm a little discouraged that I didn't really lose 6 pounds in 2 days.

At least I'm still below my starting point. I think I need to examine my eating habits.

Weight: 295
Pounds Left: 99
Days Left:362

Monday, November 30, 2009


So I know you're not supposed to weigh yourself every day, but because I'm trying to keep weight loss on my mind, I have been. Even though it's only been two days, I'm very encouraged by the results.

Today, I worked a little harder at the gym. I warmed up for 8 minutes instead of 5. Then, when I was waiting for my wife to finish her routine, I spent another 7 minutes on the treadmill. I figure the real way to achieve success is to just keep pushing myself. I was planning on breaking my push-up record of 26 tonight, but I only managed to do 20. Boo...

On another note. I have had some success with weight loss and exercise in recent history. In April, I weighed myself at 313.2. So I have managed to lose 23 pounds since then. Most of that was over the course of a couple months though. I need to have more months like that.

Weight: 290.2
Pounds Left: 94.2
Days Left: 363

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Workout Regiment

I try to work out 4 days a week. This past month, I've barely been able to get to the gym 3 times a week. If I swipe in 12 times a month, my insurance covers $20 of my gym membership. I made the 12th swipe-in today. One day to spare. This needs to improve.

My work-outs are pretty simple. Half the time I run on the elliptical machine for 15 minutes at resistance level 7, then walk on a treadmill at an incline of 10 at 3 miles per hour for 5 minutes. The other half of the time, I warm up on a treadmill or elliptical for 5 minutes. Then I do 3 sets of as much as I can of the following exercises: Push-ups, a modified plank exercise that's kind of like a push-up, and something else where I prop myself up on my two hands and one foot, then try to touch my knee to my elbow. If anyone out there knows what this is called, please let me know.

That's it. 20-25 minutes a day, 4 days a week. It seems simple. Why can't I get myself to do it more than 3 times a week? Life isn't that hectic. I'm going to make this happen.

Pounds Left:97.9
Days Left:364

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Am I being too ambitious?

I remember the first time I was called fat I was in second grade. I didn't quite know how to handle it. Since then, like many people in this world, I've struggled with my weight. I've been growing ever since. I've moved up the ranks through chubby, husky, chunky, overweight, fat, and obese. I now weigh nearly 300 pounds. I was up to 312, but I managed to drop back down to a svelte 296. It may not seem like a lot, but anyone my size can tell you 300 is a particularly nasty psychological barrier.

I realized today that to lose 100 pounds over the course of one year, I would have to lose, on average, less than two pounds a week. That's something I can do.

So over the course of the next year, I'll be writing about my experiences. I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing. I've tried WeightWatchers, going to the gym, and even SlimFast. Hopefully, this goal and this blog will keep me on track. I'd really like to weigh 196 pounds in one year.

Weight: 296
Pounds Left: 100
Days Left: 365