Tuesday, March 30, 2010

100 Posts!

Happy 100th post everybody.  I've been at this for four months now and have lost 31 pounds.  Things have been slow lately, but still moving in the right direction.  Just wait for the next weigh-in.  It's gonna be epic.

I do have to bust my hump a little bit if I plan on making my goal.  I had hoped to build up a buffer by now, but because of circumstances, I'm just barely still on track.  I'm still going to the gym almost every day and I'm thinking of stacking my 5k training on top of that.  Hopefully, I'll get somewhere that way.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to step up my water consumption.  Using the half-your-weight-in-ounces method, I'm supposed to consume 132.5 ounces of water a day.  A few of you voiced your concerns that this could be dangerous.  Mr. Scott sent me this Wikipedia article.

Water intoxication (also known as hyper-hydration or water poisoning) is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits by over-consumption of water. Normal, healthy (physically, nutritionally and mentally) individuals have little reason to worry about accidentally consuming too much water. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests, in which individuals attempt to consume high amounts of water, or long bouts of intensive exercise during which electrolytes are not properly replenished, yet excessive amounts of fluid are still consumed.

Water can be considered a poison when over-consumed just like any other substance. The recommendation from the medical field is to drink about 1.5-3 liters per day depending upon body mass. Water intoxication would only occur at levels far higher than that.

I've decided to try to keep my consumption around 3 liters a day.  That way I'm increasing it without making myself dead.

A couple of you noticed that I had passed 270 and I had promised myself a flash gun for my camera at that weight.  The problem is I can't afford to spend the money on a decent flash gun.  For the record, I've been looking at the Canon Speedlite 430 ex ii.  I don't know what good the rewards do if I don't end up buying any of them.  Grr...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In

Hey everybody, I'm on SPRING BREAK!  WOO!

Alright, now that I've gotten that out of the way, I can get on with the post.  No, I'm not actually on a break from losing weight, just a break from work.  It's been tough staying away from the refrigerator when I'm at home all day.  I've been trying to take in smaller meals, but I keep grazing.  I'll make more of an effort to get out of the apartment tomorrow. 

The weather has gotten nice here and since I have the week off, I thought it would be the perfect time to start Couch to 5k.  It was exhilarating.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the program, it's a 9-week 5k training program for non-runners.  I haven't run in a long time and it was so freeing.  I started with a 5-minute warm-up walk and then I alternated between running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes.  The best part was I got to utilize the fantastic Midtown Greenway.  I've officially stepped it up a notch.

On a less exuberant note, I attempted to complete my 100 push-ups challenge on Saturday.  I managed to squeeze 43 out of myself.  I took a break and came back for a second set.  This time I got 40 out before collapsing.  The third set was comprised of a piddly 17 push-ups.  So I did exactly 100 push-ups, it just took three sets to accomplish.  I'm going to repeat week six.  Hopefully, I'll have a little better luck on my next test.  Life isn't always about success.  Sometimes it's about you deal with failure.

And now it's time for the weigh-in.

265 isn't quite what I was hoping for.  I lost a measly .7 pounds.  But .7 pounds lost is still a loss.  I need to pick up the pace quite a bit if I'm going to make my goal though.  I've been getting worse at logging on The Daily Plate, but I've decided I just won't eat any desserts unless I've logged everything I've eaten that day.  Speaking of logging everything, I'll be right back.

<5 minutes pass>

Alright, I'm back.  I have a plan for a great weigh-in next Monday:

1.  Do a morning and afternoon work-out this week.  Since I'm doubling the time I spend exercising, I'll do something fun as one of my work-outs.
2.  Count my calories very closely.  I'm going to shoot for 2200 a day. 
3.  Kick up my water consumption.  Someone suggested to drink as many ounces of water as half my weight in pounds per day.  Since I weigh 265 pounds, I would drink 132.5 ounces.  That's just over one gallon of water per day.  So for the next week I'll be drinking 5.5 bottles of water a day.  That's almost double what I was drinking before.  I'm going to be doing a lot of peeing this week.

Lastly, I've decided to start taking measurements as another way to monitor my loss.  I had no idea what I should be measuring, so I found this site.  It's not a weight-loss site, but it was the only site that I could find that explained how to take measurements on a man, which I am.  I think I'll be measuring every two weeks to start.  If I'm not seeing much of a change, I'll switch to monthly.  Let's get started.

 This is exactly what I look like, including the black, shadowy groin region.
Neck: 19"
Shoulder: 54 3/4"
Bicep: 16"
Chest: 50 1/2"
Waist: 51"
Hips: 46 1/2"
Thigh: 28 1/2"
Calf: 18 1/2"

And that's how big I am.  I'll pull out the measuring tape in 2 weeks to see how well I've done.

I once heard a speech analyst say how much he hated that politicians don't actually end their speeches anymore.  So on that note, thank you and God bless the United States of America.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Am I Trapped?

Coming home from the gym, I noticed a bench with a McDonald's ad on it.  I haven't had McDonald's in around 5 years and I'm glad I haven't.  Still, I found myself feeling trapped.  I wanted the freedom to be able to eat whatever I want whenever I want.

Then I realized I have that freedom.  I'm an adult and can choose to eat whatever I want.  I have a choice, I can either eat crappy food and enjoy myself until the diarrhea sets in, or I can eat food that's good for my body, exercise on a regular basis, and enjoy how I feel and how I look now that I've lost all the weight.

This isn't just one decision.  It's a choice I have to make multiple times every single day.  The healthy lifestyle won't win every time, I just need to make sure I make the right choice most of the time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blog of the Week

Each week I give some link love to a different weight-loss or fitness blog that particularly resonated with me that particular week. 

This week's blog of the week is Fit to the Finish.  Diane has been maintaining after losing 158 pounds over 12 years ago.  Her posts are filled with stories I empathize with alongside very practical advice.  Her last post, When Tragedy Strikes, really hit home.  In it, she talks about emotional eating during tough times.  So go check out Fit to the Finish.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guest Post

When I came out of the weight-loss blogger closet, I was inundated with messages from friends who have had their own experiences with weight loss and fitness.  I've taken a lot of their suggestions to heart, but I thought it would be a nice change of pace to hear from them directly so I've decided I'm going to start featuring guest posts on my blog.  

If you'd like to write a guest post for me, I'd be thrilled.  You can email me or leave a comment at the bottom of this post.  It's a great way for my readers to have a change of pace, and for you to expose yourself to a new audience.  I'd also love to write a guest post for your blog.  Maybe we could do a "guest post exchange." I like that.  Anyone want to make a snappy "guest post exchange" graphic for me?

Without further ado, I present the first guest post on 100 Pounds in a Year.  This post was written by my very good friend, Liza, from Exposition of an Admin about her experiences with a personal trainer.

Personal Training: A transition to acceptance.
Ok-I am going to dedicate 12 weeks of my life to my personal fitness. In these twelve weeks, if I work hard enough, enough to outlast and out lose my peers I can win some awesome prizes…
“Yeah, whatever!  I really doubt I’m going to ‘out lose’ the 300 lb. lady that is also competing for the same prize.”
I embarked on my first adventure with personal training last fall.  I learned a lot about my body, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  Even though the fitness challenge was designed to have a winner at the end of it, I knew I had no chance of winning.  I knew that if I lost any weight at all, it wouldn’t be much more than 10 pounds.  But my goal wasn’t to lose weight, it was to lose inches.  I wanted to come out at the end of 12 weeks with a body that I could maintain and be proud of. 
Personal Training seems like such a waste of money for so many people-and to others, it is a treat to appreciate and milk as much out of it as a person can.  I wanted personal training to be a learning experience for me-my history of fitness doesn’t go very far and has little depth.  I know that if I’m active and watch what I eat I will be ‘skinny’.  Now that word makes me cringe.  What is skinny?  Am I skinny?  Is skinny good?  To me, skinny is impossible.  I know that nobody feels skinny-and those that do, don’t feel it for very long and probably aren’t very healthy.  I want to talk about the different things I’ve learned about training, eating and how my personal training embarked me on a journey to self-discovery and self-acceptance.
I always thought that weight training was easy, and boring.  After a good weight training session at volleyball practice, I didn’t feel like I worked out.  Personal Training opened my eyes to the possibility of weight training. After the first session of lunges and squats I had sweat more than I ever had on the treadmill!  I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to walk up the stairs to take a shower later that evening.  The next day, it was impossible to sit down without the assistance of my arms to ‘gently’ lower myself.  But that was the worst session.  After a few weeks, I discovered that I don’t need to work myself sore in order to build muscle, but I needed to tire my current muscles out.  Most of my weight training was surrounded by circuit training; doing two or three different muscles with some sort of cardio in between to keep my heart rate up.  It was a lot of work-and I pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could. 
At the beginning of my training, I couldn’t do any push-ups. This is mostly because I’ve been struggling with tendinitis for 3 years, but by the end of my training I could do about seven before I fell.  That alone made me feel so accomplished and positive in my goal for health!  There were many other small accomplishments during my sessions, I think this is the most positive and uplifting accomplishment I had.
For someone who isn’t looking to lose a lot of weight, weight training can be an internal struggle.  I noticed that my legs and arms looked toned and amazing, but my jeans were still snug.  When I would do my measurements, it was obvious I was losing body fat, but the scale went up 6 pounds, my thigh and hip measurements weren’t budging and I was feeling like I was never going to have the skinny body I wanted.  For a while I thought maybe it was what I was eating, so I relied on my personal trainer to work out a positive eating plan.
Eating.  Everyone does it-no one can quit eating.  It is also one of the biggest problems relating to weight management.  I, personally, love to eat.  I enjoy cooking.  At first I thought my trainer was going to tell me to stop eating half the food I eat.  Instead, he told me to eat more often, and to bump up my protein and lower my sugar intake.  I didn’t think that I could eat every 3-4 hours and still reach my fitness goal.  I honestly thought that I was going to either stay the same, or gain ‘weight’ (aka fat).  But I trusted him. And so I followed his eating plan.  A few weeks later, I was surprised that I had made progress.  And the best part was that I didn’t have to starve myself to reach this goal.  The key to this eating plan was related to eating the right foods and knowing how much your body can metabolize in one sitting.  So my maximum for eating is about 400 calories per meal.  By doing this, my body doesn’t overtake any food, and it keeps my metabolism up, which helps my body to create more muscle and burn more fat.  Eating was key to reaching my fitness goals. 
I know I’ve mentioned that I went on a personal journey during my personal training.  And I did.  Before I started personal training I weighed myself every day.  I told myself I was fat.  Every day.  When I didn’t go to the gym for a day, or if I decided to eat more than I probably should have, I told myself every negative connotation I could about myself.  I thought that if I reminded myself all of the time that I wasn’t happy with my body that it would change.  In the end, I just beat myself up over the little things and obsessed over everything.  I wasn’t happy with this.  I didn’t love myself the way I should have. 
One of the ‘goals’ I gave myself during personal training was that I wasn’t going to weigh myself unless I was doing measurements with my trainer.  Any negative, beat myself up thoughts I had disappeared.  I accepted that if my pants didn’t fit me the way I wanted them to, it wasn’t because of what the scale said, it was because I was currently a work in progress and that I would do something about it instead of call myself names.  Since September, I have weighed myself only seven times.  And every time I get off the scale, I don’t say anything-mostly because I’m content with what it says, but even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t say anything. 
I’ve come to the conclusion that my weight number isn’t going to determine my self-acceptance.  I know that as I grow my body will change, I know that I do not have a supermodel body and I’m happy with that.  One of the other ‘issues’ I had with my body was my hips and thighs.  During the entire 12 weeks their measurements didn’t change at all.  Any fat that I burned off was replaced by muscle.  And even though my thighs are tight in my pants, my waist isn’t.  I struggled with this because I wanted to have the cute little thighs and cute little butt that I see in Victoria’s Secret every month.  But the honest truth is that my body wasn’t made to be that small-I have hips! I can’t compare myself to people who don’t even have my body type!  I would never reach those goals!  Instead I’ve accepted that my hips are here to stay, and they actually have health benefits to them. 
Overall, personal training showed me that if I work hard and stay focused on my goal, I can reach it.  My goal for personal training was to have a healthy body I could maintain and be proud of.  I now know how to help my body to help me.  I can walk into a gym and do my own routine without thinking if I really belong there. Personal Training taught me more about my body then I ever thought I would learn.  I never thought I would also gain self-acceptance and confidence through my desire to be healthy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ask Me Anything - Answers

Not too long ago I told you I'd answer all your questions.   You asked some really good ones and I've got some answers for you.  Settle in.  This is a long post, so settle in and enjoy.
Josie (35 and Shrinking) asked me a bunch of questions:
What's the story behind "waterballoonist"?
This one is pretty silly.  My favorite t-shirt has a picture of a hot air balloon that's actually a water balloon.  I decided my handle should be "The Waterballoonist."  I spent the first month writing 100 pounds in a year as a closeted weight loss blogger.  I didn't want anyone I knew to know I had bitten off more than I could chew.  After losing only one pound in a month, I realized that I needed the accountability and support of my friends so I put my name on my blog posted a link to it in my facebook profile.  The support and accountability I have now because of that single move has kept me focused on my goal.

What kind of stuff are you looking forward to doing that you can't do now or couldn't do when you first started this?
I've thought about this one quite a bit.  There wasn't a lot I couldn't do that I wanted to do when I weighed 313.2 pounds.  I just didn't think about it.  I always used to hate when I had to squeeze myself into a booth at a restaurant.  I don't have that problem anymore.  I'm really excited to be able to fit into my old clothes and then shrink out of them.  One big thing I want to do is blend in.  I don't want to be singled out because I'm fat, even if no one is saying it.  I was always self conscious about how I appeared to be eating around others.  I didn't want anyone to think "look what that guy is doing to himself".  Most importantly, I'm looking forward to living a long, active life. 

What is your 'diet' history like?  Were you a yo-yo dieter?  Is this your first attempt to lose weight?
I've been seriously trying to lose weight since my freshman year of college.  I've learned a little bit with each attempt, but my weight ballooned 70+ pounds from my first attempt to my heaviest.  The first time I tried, I went to the gym almost every day, but didn't understand that I shouldn't eat an entire box of Mac'n'Cheese after my work-out.  I had a terrible relationship with food in college.  I would binge and binge.  I tried slimfast a few years later and lost a good chunk of weight but felt lousy and hungry all the time and my jaw hurt when I actually did eat.  Eventually cut that out.  Slimfast tastes terrible anyway.  I joined WeightWatchers during the spring of my last year of college.  I lost about 20 pounds with diet and exercise and managed to gain it all back and then some when I moved to Minneapolis.  Oh man, there were all these restaurants to try.  It took me a long time to get over that.  Then I started running.  I lost the 20 pounds again and managed to keep most of it off.  I didn't do much for a few months, then I started my gym membership.  A couple months later, I started my blog.  So you could call me a yo-yo dieter who's weight never really went down all that much.
What are your fitness goals? 
I'm hoping I'll be able to run around the world in 27 seconds, be able to lift a house from its foundation, and stop bullets with my mind.  
Seriously, I'd like to run a 5k before my year is up.  I think I'll start training first, though I am a little worried about my knees.  Long-term, I'd like to build up more lean muscle so I can eat more and maintain my weight.  I read somewhere (if "somewhere" is your blog, please let me know so I can give you credit) that every pound of lean muscle on your body boosts your BMR by 50 calories a day.

Do you see a marathon in your future?
Probably not.  My knees are aching just thinking about it.  Let's start with a 5k and see where things go though.

Lauralei asked me this:

What is your biggest weight loss tip?
There are a lot of parts to my biggest tip, but the concept is simple.  Be honest and objective with yourself.  This is a lot harder than you might think.  I accomplish it by blogging as close to every day as possible.  Hold yourself accountable for your actions, positive and negative.  Be proud when you go to the gym.  It's okay to get mad at yourself when you slip up, but learn from your mistakes and get back on track.  Early on in my weight-loss journey, I ate a buffalo chicken sandwich I later discovered was nearly 2000 calories.  I nearly had an anxiety attack.  You will make mistakes but don't let them stop you from succeeding.  In short, you are responsible for what you do and do not do.  Make good choices.
I hope that stream of consciousness answered your question.  

Frank Dobner wanted to know the following

What is the one most painful moment or event that occurred to make you finally say, "that's it, I am losing this fat"

The details would be great.
This is a tough question to answer.  Not because of any particularly painful memory I have to drudge up, but because there are many painful memories that really took a toll on my sense of self worth over the years.  As anyone who was fat in middle or high school knows, kids can be ruthless.  College was better in that regard, but much worse in another.  I had terrible luck with women.  I don't know how much of it was because of my weight, but it was something I could blame.  I felt incredibly lonely.  It seemed that every woman I met wanted to be "friends".  It's tough to see yourself as unattractive all the time.  Luckily, I met Claire.  Claire saw through all the extra weight I was carrying.  She saw the real me through the pudge.  She made me feel good about myself.  She gave me the strength I needed.  She validated me.  She completed me.  So I married her.  Without her by my side, I don't think I would have made it as far as I have on my weight-loss journey.
As for specific incidents, I managed to blow out the seat of a ton of pants over the last decade or so.  I used to hate getting in booths at restaurants because I just barely fit.  I've been told by a number of students that I'm fat or going to break a chair.  I have broken chairs.  I've broken beds.  I had to wear a stupid looking bib at my wedding because Men's Wearhouse didn't have vests big enough to fit me.  That one still makes my blood boil (as stupid as it sounds).  
It all built up to a boil last April and I decided to start running.  Since then I've lost almost 50 pounds.
Anonymous asked:
Has your sex life improved?
My mother reads this blog.  As does my father-in-law.  So instead of answering your question, I will answer the following question:
Has your ability to climb stairs improved?
Why yes, yes it has.  Since I started exercising nearly every day I'm in much better shape.  That means climbing stairs is quite a bit easier.  It's still good cardio, but I don't end up huffing and puffing when I reach the top anymore.  I also seem to be climbing stairs for longer durations.  
Andrew is getting fit wanted to know how I set my goal.

I hadn't been seeing the results I wanted so I decided to start my blog.  That way I'd be able to hold myself accountable.  I knew I wanted to lose a lot of weight.  I got to thinking how nice it would be to lose 100 pounds.  I thought about it and realized if I lost less than 2 pounds each week, I could meet that incredibly ambitious goal.

Anonymous asked a couple questions:
How has the weight loss affected your self image?
I feel great.  I've started getting comments from people who aren't obligated to tell me I look good.  The best is when I hear something from someone who doesn't read my blog.  That way I know I look different.  I bought new jeans last weekend.  I shrunk 6 inches in my waist.  That made me feel like a million bucks.  Mostly, I'm excited for what I'll look like when I reach my goal.

What will you do if you fall short of your goal?
I don't know what will happen.  I've got a fairly vocal inner critic.  If I miss my goal, I'm sure my self esteem will take a bit of a hit.  I guess it all depends on how much I miss by.  If I'm five pounds short, I'll take it in stride.  If I miss by 70 pounds, I'll probably be pretty upset.  Either way, I'm on this journey until I reach my goals.  1 year AND 100 pounds.  I won't give up before both conditions are met.

Mr. Scott asked me this:
Ask you anything? Wanna hang out?
Absolutely.  How does next Tuesday work?  You're on Spring Break next week too, right?  We should make a movie or something.
JackieDee wanted to know:
What are your other goals in life (besides the weight loss)?
These are the things that immediately come to mind.  I want to write and record an album.  I want to go to grad school.  I want to play in a band that gigs a lot.  I want to have a home recording studio.  I want to travel.  I want to inspire people to love music the way I do.  I want to have kids.  I want to come to terms with my mortality.  I want to figure out exactly what is going on with Lost (okay, I've pretty much given up on that one).  I want to make some really outstanding photographs and maybe make some money in the process.
There's a lot I want to do with my life and I don't want it cut short by obesity related disease.
Lastly, Beej was wondering:
How do you know you won't fail?

Short answer: I don't.

Before I started this blog, I faced a seemingly impassible obstacle.  A 100 pound wall stood directly between me and my health.  Time and time again, I tried and failed to lose weight.  So I did the only thing I could to motivate myself.  I threw my cap over the wall.  There was no choice now but to scale it.  I started blogging and made my goal known to everyone I knew.  It worked, I've lost over 30 pounds.  I don't know if I'll lose 100 pounds by November 28th, but even if I don't lose another pound, I've already changed my life for the better.  Not only have I lost a lot of weight, but I know I'm capable of losing weight.  Something I didn't know I was capable of before.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weigh-In Results

Before I get to the results of my weigh-in, I'd like to remind you that in tomorrow's post I'll be answering any question you ask (within reason).  If you haven't left a comment, please leave one here

I finished the six weeks of my 100 push ups training program.  All I have left to do is 100 push ups in a row.  Eep.  Today I did 50; my personal best.  I'll rest my arms and focus on cardio for a couple days.  Hopefully, I'll be able to perform.

Now let's get to the weigh-in.

Well, it's not the loss I was hoping for, but it was more than I was expecting (and probably deserved).  I snacked this week, I stopped using the daily plate (though I've been trying to pick it up again), I didn't get nearly enough sleep.  I took two days off in a row, and I took walks instead of hitting the gym hard. Still, half a pound lost is still a loss.

I have to admit I ate a peanut-butter banana to cope with my frustration, but the scale will go down next week.  It has to.

I did pass a major milestone this week though.  I've lost 30 pounds since I started blogging!  That's my badge of honor for the week.  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Care Reform

On Tuesday, I'll be answering questions from yesterday's "Ask me anything" post.  Please leave a question in the comments section for me to answer.

I try to keep politics out of my blog because obesity impacts people from all parts of the world, races, creeds, sexual orientations, and political viewpoints.  Today I make an exception.  I'll be talking about health care reform.  Personally, I'm thrilled that it passed.  If you're not, don't be afraid to let me know.   All I ask is that you please be civil in the comments section.  If you don't want to read this, come back on Monday for my weekly weigh-in.  I'll try to stay away from politics for a good long time after this post.  Thanks.

The senate just passed health care reform.  I know not everyone who reads my blog falls on the same side of this argument (heck, some of you aren't even Americans), but I'd like to share with you why I'm elated about the reform.

When I graduated from college in the summer of 2008, I was covered by my student health insurance until the fall, but after that I was on my own.  I sent out over 35 job applications for teaching positions that summer, but could only find work part-time at a group home for adults with developmental disabilities.  No health insurance and not very much money either.  In the fall I became a substitute teacher.  At best, I was working 2 days a week.  At the age of 25, I was living with my parents, had two jobs, no health insurance, and I was barely getting by. 

I started applying for health insurance.  I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make the monthly payments, but I pursued insurance anyway because I was terrified of something happening that would put me thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt.

I started contacting various insurance companies.  I tried MinnesotaCare first because I didn't make much money and I thought I might qualify.  I was wrong.  I made slightly more than I needed to to qualify.  I can't remember the name of the company I ended up applying for after that, but I filled out an application asking me things like if I had been cured of my ADHD and for how long.  Ugh.  Anyway, I filled it out and sent it in only to be told I was too heavy to receive coverage.  What!  I'm too fat for health insurance?  I called and was told I was also declined because of my sleep apnea.  That's right, I snore.  I'm fat and I snore.  Therefore, I don't deserve to be covered if I get cancer or get hit by a bus.  I asked the woman how much weight I'd need to lose and she told me that the sleep apnea was a preexisting condition and they wouldn't be able to cover me at all.  Case closed.  I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.

What did I do?  I went without health care.  Fortunately, I was eventually hired as a music teacher and got my employee health insurance.  Two months later, I found a lump on my testicle.  It was a false alarm (thank god) but if I had gotten testicular cancer without health insurance I would have been sunk.  If you've ever gone without health insurance, you know exactly how scary it can be not to have that safety net.

Discrimination is now going to be a thing of the past.  Everyone will be able to get reasonably priced health insurance and that is why I'm celebrating.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ask Me Anything

I've gotten really terrible about posting every day.  It's been a busy few days but things are returning to normal. 

I had two rest days in a row this week.  Ugh.  I didn't do much yesterday at the gym either.  I don't think I'll post a gain this week (fingers crossed) but I don't think I will have lost anything either.  I kind of fell off the horse with The Daily Plate

I might just be spinning my wheels.  Maybe I will post a loss on Monday.  I've only got .2 pounds to lose before I hit the 30-pound mark.  I need to stay positive and work my butt off for the next two days at the gym and really make sure I watch my intake and I might actually lose weight this week.  How novel.

Recently, I asked you what I should write about for future posts.  Kim (check out her website, she's an awesome photographer) suggested I have an "ask me anything" post.  So ask me anything (within reason) and I'll answer it next Tuesday on my post.  That way everyone has time to get their questions in.  So just post your question in the comments section.  So go ahead, ask me anything.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Sorry there was no St. Patrick's Day post.  I avoided temptation completely by spending my free time between the Sprint store, choir practice, and working on grades.  If you're new to the blog, I'm an elementary music teacher.  Parent-teacher conferences are today and I'm writing this during a break between students.

When I was a kid, I thought parent-teacher conferences were great (unless my grades were bad, then I'd get yelled at once we got in the car).  You go, spend half an hour talking with your teachers, then stop at Dairy Queen on the way home.  There was a novelty to it.  I'm a sucker for novelty.

Speaking of Dairy Queen (see what I did there?), I'd like to share a story with you.  A couple years ago, Claire and I were on our way up to the cabin.  We decided to stop for lunch at Dairy Queen.  As we were pulling into the parking lot, I noticed that this wasn't a regular DQ, but one that only served a couple hot food items and ice cream.  I was unreasonably upset.  I had my sights set on a flamethrower burger basket and that wasn't on the menu.  I was so afraid of being hungry then.  So afraid that I nearly threw a temper tantrum because I couldn't get a flamethrower bacon cheeseburger.  Food is such a primal thing.  It stresses us out so much when if we're afraid we won't be able to eat.

Since then, I've learned how to be hungry.  I'd like to think I've gotten better at dealing when I don't get what I want.  Although I still get upset when I'm really looking forward to something and don't get my way, but I try not to show it. 

This is just one example of my unhealthy history with food.  When has food stressed you out to the point of a meltdown?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Temptation Resisted (Almost)

I was at the supermarket tonight.  I've been fighting off some extremely intense cravings as of late.  Something inside me recently decided it wants more food.  It's becoming increasingly difficult to say "no."  I kept having visions of picking up a Cadbury Egg or some other indulgence.  I picked up some gum at the register; I was compelled to buy an impulse item and I think I picked the most reasonable.  I did get some Teddy Grahams but they're not too terrible for you as far as chocolate cookies go.

I'm so glad I recognized I was having a weak moment so I could deal with it accordingly.  In the past, I would have loaded my cart with the most unhealthy garbage imaginable.  While fighting off the urge to buy chips, soda, and candy, I asked myself "Is this worth no loss this week?  Is this worth not reaching your goal?"  Invariably, the answer would be no.  It was still damn near impossible to move on.

So here I am.  Hungry, but proud of my ability to resist the temptations of the grocery store.

When are you most tempted to eat things you shouldn't?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weigh-In Results

Hey everybody, it's Monday!  You know what that means.  It's time for the weekly weigh-in.  Last week I had a terrific weigh-in.  I managed to lose over four pounds bringing my total loss to 28.1 pounds!  My pants were getting ludicrously baggy on me so I got some new jeans.  Let's see how this week went.

266.2.  Not bad.  That's a loss of 1.7 pounds which means I've officially lost over 10% of my original body weight.  I need to do a little better than that on average in order to make my goal, but last week's weigh-in was really, really good.  I'm also becoming a firm believer in building muscle because I don't want to arrive at my goal weight only to discover that in order to maintain, I only get to consume 1400 calories a day.  I recently read somewhere (if it was your blog, please let me know so I can give you credit) that for every pound of muscle on your body, your BMR goes up by 50 calories a day.  That's an incentive to put on some muscle.

There was plenty of room for improvement in my intake this past week.  I ate out, I lost track of my intake during the weekend, I ate appetizers at an Indian restaurant tonight, I went over my calories a couple times, etc.  I'm going to try to keep a closer eye on my consumption this week.  I think I'll try to stay under 2200 calories a day with the exception of one cheat day (maybe).  I want to have a really good weigh-in next week.

I also dropped the ball a couple of times last week as far as blogging.  I had a rough week and couldn't think of anything to blog about.  When I stop blogging, I don't hold myself as accountable.

To clear up future writer's block, help me come up with ideas for future posts.  What would you like me to write about?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blog o' the Week

Every week I give a little link love to one blog that resonated with me in that week.  I call it "Blog of the Week."  This week, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'll be calling it "Blog o' the Week."

This week's winner was the first weight-loss blog I found that I could really relate to.  We're around the same age, both married, and, although he had more weight to lose, I felt we had very similar goals.  He started almost exactly a year before I did and I looked at him and saw what was possible for myself.

In his last post, he talked about how it pained him to see someone in the same place he was before he started his journey.  I won't give away too much, but instead I'll direct you to this week's winner: 344 Pounds.

New Pants!

Happy Daylight Savings everybody?  We lost an hour, but we get an extra hour of sunlight in the afternoon!  Totally worth it.

I have been seriously lacking in post quantity this week.  Sorry about that.  I've had a rough week and I just put off writing.  But I'm moving onward and upward now.

Lately, my pants have gotten to the point where they are ridiculously baggy.  I was using a belt to remedy the situation but I would get frustrated when the button on the front of my pants would sag below my belt buckle.  Very awkward.  So yesterday Claire and I went shopping.

I wasn't quite sure what size I would fit into when we walked into Kohl's.  I figured I would need something around a 40.  I was wearing a pair of size 44 pants that looked ridiculous on me.  We grabbed a couple of 40x30 jeans and decided to try out a couple 38x30 (the size of pants I wore in high school).  The 40x30s were too big!  I moved from a 44 to 38 inch waist!  They're still just a touch snug around the thighs, but it's way better than the super-baggy jeans I was sporting before.

Sorry about the low light, I accidentally set the camera to manual.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coming Up on an Unofficial Milestone

Last April I weighed 313.2 pounds.  Although my starting weight on my blog was 296 pounds, it was not the heaviest I've ever been.  I started jogging and continued until my wedding.  After the wedding, I spent more time just enjoying being married than I did worrying about my health.  I ate whatever I wanted and kind of gave up on the whole exercise thing.  I started my blog, and today I weigh 267.9 pounds.  I did the math today and realized I have lost 45.3 pounds.  I'm 4.7 pounds away from having lost 50 pounds since April!  Naturally, I want to lose more weight than that, but this is a good start.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weigh-In Results

Update: Tyler at 344 Pounds is doing a workout pledge.  Let's make him spend a ton of time at the gym tonight.  Comment, follow, or link to him so he has to spend more time on the treadmill.

I said pretty much all I needed to say in my earlier post about the Polar Bear Plunge and the Weekend Warrior Challenge so let's get right to the weigh-in.


267.9, which means a very good weigh-in at 4.3 pounds lost.  I was a little concerned that I was taking in too many calories, but now I'm not sure.  Anyway, I've lost a total of 28.1 pounds since I started in November.  I need to work extra hard at making next week's weigh-in just as productive.

On a considerably less jubilant note, one of my parents' cats, Spook, died last night.  This was one of two cats my brother and I helped pick out from the animal shelter when I was in 3rd grade.  She was more than a beloved pet, she was a link to my childhood.  Something that's becoming much more rare as I settle into my adult life.  There's a voice inside me that says "she's just a cat".  It's still not easy to deal with.  She was part of my life for the last 17 years.

The loss of Spook combined with the grief from the death of my grandma in February brings up some serious existential issues.  Issues I don't want to depress you too deeply by delving into it at this time.  It's just tough to enjoy an awesome weigh-in like tonight's.  There was a silver lining to this though.  I took out a lot of negative energy at the gym tonight.  I ran for the first time in 7 or 8 months on the treadmill at around 5 miles an hour for over 4 minutes!  I pushed myself harder in the gym tonight than I have in a long time.  I'm glad I chose exercise to deal with negative emotions rather than eating.  For that, I'm proud of myself.

Polar Bear Plunge Pictures and Weekend Warrior Results

Last week was a very busy.  Now, I don't want to make any excuses.  I managed to complete my first week of logging my calories on The Daily Plate.  I didn't get 7 hours of sleep every night, but I came close all but Saturday night and I got a nap on Sunday.

Before I talk about how I did for the Weekend Warrior Challenge, let's take a look at the goals I set:

1.  Exercise Friday, Saturday, and Sunday spending a total of 2 hours working out.  That's only an average of 40 minutes per day.  I can do that.
2.  Continue to log everything I eat on The Daily Plate.  I'm anticipating a little trouble with this one as I'm going out for Indian food tonight.
3.  Jump in a frozen lake for charity.  Okay, this one doesn't have anything to do with my health.  But I thought I'd give it one more shameless plug.  I'll post pics and a video next week.

Now let's see how I did.
1.  I exercised on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday was my rest day.  I exercised for about 80 minutes total.  40 minutes short of my goal.
2.  I logged everything I ate on The Daily Plate.  I went over on Saturday with how many calories I consumed.  I'm sure I'm taking in too many calories, but tune in tonight to see what the scale says.
3.  I totally jumped in a frozen lake for charity!
I successfully completed 2 of my 3 Weekend Warrior goals.  I'm going to view that as a small victory.  Because of the Polar Bear Plunge, I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time.  We ate out and I spent time with them instead of exercising.  Hopefully, life will go back to its previous pace now and I can really focus.
On to the Polar Bear Plunge.  It was awesome!  I got there around noon and my jump time was 1:15.  I took some awesome pictures of the event.
These were the first brave souls I saw jump.  The look on the guy on the left's face is priceless.

The Speedo/Water Wings combo is the most underutilized in all of swimming.  I wonder why.

My friend, Liza, was there.  Read her blog here.

Merkins are making a come-back.  Gross.

This is probably my favorite plunge team.  Not because of the wedding theme but because of the woman on the right.

That's amazing!

These are not the world's largest ice cubes; glaciers are. 

Oh crap.

Big splash!

Must. Get. Out of Lake.

I survived.  I'm in a hot tub.  Everything is great!

My lovely wife is happy to see that I survived.

I'm really glad I did this.  I'm excited to do it next year when I'm thinner.  For the first time in a long time, I felt comfortable enough with my body to be shirtless in public.  I still cringe a little when I see the pictures (especially when I compare myself with the three thin guys I jumped with).  I had a great time and can't wait 'til next year.

Thank you so much for your donations!  I managed to raise almost $500 for the Minnesota Special Olympics.  Who's up for a plunge next year?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Polar Bear Plunge is Today

Thank you so much everyone who donated!  I raised a total of $492 (the last pledge came in this morning) for the Minnesota Special Olympics!  I'll be jumping into Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis.  If you're in the area, come on down.  The weather is gorgeous.  I'm plunging at 1:15 at Thomas Beach (at the south end of Lake Calhoun)

If you're not in the area, don't worry, I'll post pictures and, eventually, a video to my blog. detailing each icy moment. 

I'm nervous.  Wish me luck!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Am a Weekend Warrior

Brandon at So Long, Fat Ass came up with a great idea.  He noticed he's always slipping on the weekends so he came up with the idea of having a Weekend Warrior Challenge.

This awesome logo was created by Ryan from No More Bacon.

Naturally, I'll be participating.  I've decided on the following goals:
1.  Exercise Friday, Saturday, and Sunday spending a total of 2 hours working out.  That's only an average of 40 minutes per day.  I can do that.
2.  Continue to log everything I eat on The Daily Plate.  I'm anticipating a little trouble with this one as I'm going out for Indian food tonight.
3.  Jump in a frozen lake for charity.  Okay, this one doesn't have anything to do with my health.  But I thought I'd give it one more shameless plug.  I'll post pics and a video next week.


Blog of the Week and Polar Bear Plunge

I've been running on fumes this last week.  I haven't been this busy in a long time.  It's not like I've been overloaded with any one thing (although sometimes it feels like it).  I've just had something going on every evening this week.  So instead of having a laid-back evening where I go to the gym, maybe pick up some groceries, write my blog, and catch a little TV, I've been occupied with other obligations.  I didn't get a chance to exercise on Tuesday or Thursday and I'll have to squeeze it in tonight. 

I got caught up with The Daily Plate this morning for last night's food.  I thought I'd gone over my calorie limit, but it said I had only taken in 2288.  I keep telling myself I must have forgotten something because I felt like a little piggy last night.  Tonight we have some old friends visiting and they're craving Indian food.  This might prove problematic.  I'm going to try to keep my intake low today in anticipation of overeating tonight.  I've never been out for Indian food before, so I might not even like it.  Who knows.

Tomorrow is the Polar Bear Plunge.  I'm excited and only a little bit nervous.  I broke the $400 mark thanks to so many very generous donors.  If you donated, thank you so much.  If you haven't, there's still time.  Donate Here!  I'll be posting pictures and a video on my blog for everyone to see.

For those of you new to my site, each week I give another weight loss or fitness site a little link love.  Since I didn't post yesterday, I'm going to have to do the Blog of the Week today.  I discovered this week's winner because of the blog's fantastic name!  I stayed because each post is incredibly well written.  He only posts twice a week, but what he lacks in quantity, he more than makes up for with quality.  One of the reasons I started blogging and reading other weight loss blogs is so I could learn and grow as I shrunk (see what I did there?).  This blog is responsible for my 28-day challenge for the month of March.  Steve's posts are always informative, relevant, and fun to read.  This week's Blog of the Week is Nerd Fitness.  Go check out the site.  You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Am I Eating Too Much?

Today is day three of logging everything on The Daily Plate.  I've done a pretty good job of logging everything, and even though I'm consuming under the recommended value in order for me to lose 2 pounds a week, I feel that I may be taking in too much.  They suggest I take in about 2700 calories a day to lose weight.  I don't know how I feel about that.  Am I really burning over 2700 calories a day?  Anyway, this month is about logging everything and seeing how it impacts my weight.

I just got back from the grocery store and I realized that I've been shopping way healthier.  I'm just about immune to the impulse items.  I used to grocery shop entirely on impulse.  I've come a long way.  I looked at the nutritional information on just about everything I bought.

After I put up my shirtless pictures, I realized how much thinner I had gotten.  That alone is a huge motivator.  Even though I only lost 1.8 pounds in February, I definitely ended the month looking better than I did at the beginning of the month.  I've also heard a lot of people talking about taking measurements instead of weight.  I'd do that, but my goal is 100 pounds not x inches.

That's all for now.  I'm probably not going to get my 7 hours of sleep minimum tonight so I'd better get off the computer box. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Topless Mayhem

Well, I didn't get to the gym tonight.  I also did a lot of guessing on The Daily Plate today.  All told, it looks like I took in around 2100 calories, which I'm very proud of.  I just hope my estimations aren't wildly inaccurate.  I went to a fancy shindig tonight that was put on by my alma mater, the University of Minnesota-Morris, for prospective students.  I talked to them about what my college experience was like.  There was plenty of delicious food for people to graze on.  I had a few pieces of chocolate-covered fruit and one little one-ounce cheesecake thing.  All in all, I did really well.

The important thing is I logged everything to the best of my ability.  I also got 7 hours and 40 minutes of sleep last night.  That means I'm on course for my Nerd Fitness challenge.  27 days to go.

I almost skipped my before picture for the Nerd Fitness challenge.  I'll show it to you along with a couple others.

We'll go fattest to lightest.

313.2 - Me at my fattest.

291.7 - A fairly subtle change.

272.2 - Me five minutes ago.

I just scrolled through the pictures fast.  I'm excited.  Things are changing.  My hair is growing and I'm shrinking.  This is fantastic.  I wish I'd taken a side-view shot to start out.  I feel like I've shrunk most from front to back.  Maybe once I've lost 50 pounds I'll find some old pics of myself to contrast with new ones.

I started writing this post with very little energy.  Now I'm stoked!  Let's lose 20 pounds in March!

Also, I'll be jumping into a lake on Saturday.  Please donate.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Weigh-In Results

Let's just get it out there.  February was by far the worst month I've had in a long time.  Good riddance.  In short, February sucked.

Moving on, because that's exactly what I intend to do, March is here.  Steve over at Nerd Fitness is hosting a 28-day challenge.  He's challenging everyone to do 2 or 3 things for 28 days and post their results.  So instead of my normal 3-week challenge, this month I'll be doing a 4-week challenge.

Here are the habits I'll be forming this month.

1. I'll be using The Daily Plate every single day.  Even if I go over on my calories, I'm not going to be ashamed and stop using it.  Even if I miss an evening, I won't give up this time.  Diet is going to be the linchpin to some serious weight loss this month.  I lost 22 pounds in January.  I want another loss like that.

2. My second goal is to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  If I miss out one day, I'll take a nap to make up for it.  This also means I'm going to have to start my blog earlier in the evenings.

I'm also supposed to take a picture of myself at the beginning of this challenge and then again at the end.  Since it's late and I don't want to hassle my wife to take a shirtless picture of me tonight, I'll post it tomorrow. 

Well, it's Monday so it must be time for my weekly weigh-in.

This weigh in shows my weight change for the last week of February.  Let's get to it.
272.2.  Yes, it's the lowest weight on my journey thus far, but not by much.  It means I only lost 1.8 pounds in the entire month of February.  The good news is that I lost 2.8 pounds this week and 23.8 pounds since I started.  It's better than a gain I suppose.
I had hoped to be around 260 by now.  Hopefully by April 1st, I might see high 250s.  I know that's incredibly optimistic, but I'm shooting for the stars.  March is going to be a good month.