Wednesday, April 28, 2010

World's Lamest Giveaway!

While cleaning out my grandma's house, I obtained something I will never ever use, but it's kind of interesting.  It's a "Talking" Pedometer!  It's made by a company called Totes.  As far as pedometers go, it's pretty cool.  According to the box, it "plays music with a tempo that is in sync with your walking or jogging" as well as "announces the current time" and it looks like you can "choose between 4 different alarm sounds for the clock."  Man, this thing is advanced.  I wonder if astronauts use these.

Look!  It actually says "Talking" Pedometer

A word of caution:  I'm not sure if this thing works.  The battery may be dead or the insulation tape might still be on inside the thing.  If you get this thing (for free), please don't complain that it doesn't work if you can't figure it out.  I'll tinker with it during this week and see if I can get it fixed.

By now you should be asking yourself "Who would want this piece of crap?"  How do I get my hands on this piece of crap awesome "talking" pedometer?"  Well, you can enter a couple different ways. 

1.  Comment on this post.  Tell me why you want this marvel of modern electronics. 
2.  Tell me what you think a "talking" pedometer would actually say.  I'll give you one entry for each comment you leave with a funny thing the pedometer would say.
3.  Link to this post on your blog or facebook or twitter or something like that.  Just leave me a comment with the link so I can add that as an entry.

Each one of these things is worth one entry.  Next Wednesday, I'll assign numerical values to all the entries and use some kind of random number generator to come up with a lucky winner (extra entry to the first person to recommend a random number generator).

So are you cool enough for a "talking" pedometer?  I know you want it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weigh-In Results

I just finished Week 4 Day 1 of C25k.  It's starting to pick up in a big way.  I went from walking half the time to walking a third of the time.  I'm really starting to feel like a runner.

It's Monday night and I'm regretting eating out every meal this weekend.  Every single meal was either at a restaurant or the hotel's continental breakfast.  I ate pizza, fries, french dips, and lots of diet coke.  I felt gross.  Just gross.  There wasn't a lot I could do about it though.  We were cleaning out my grandma's house and we couldn't use the kitchen because it was getting packed up too.

I tried really hard to make the best of a bad situation and order a reasonably healthy option at every opportunity.  I had a few salads rather than fries.  I had chicken instead of burgers.  I even skipped out on a chance to have a Dairy Queen blizzard.  I feel like I exercised a lot of self-restraint, but I wasn't sure if it would be enough.

Let's take a look at how I did.

YUSSS!!!  I lost 3.9 pounds this week!  That makes 32.9 pounds total.  I'm still on a bit of a bump from being sick, but I'm headed back down. 

I realized recently that I've stalled enough in my weight loss that in order to make my goal, I have to lose more than 2 pounds a week every week until the end of November.  As of this weigh in, I have to lose an average of 2.16 pounds a week to stay in the game.  I can do this and I will.  I am losing 100 pounds in a year.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I've been spending the weekend cleaning out my grandmother's house.  You might remember that she passed away a in February.  It's been emotionally tough going through everything but it's also a good way to get some closure.

Even though we've had to eat out for every meal, I've been trying to keep my health in mind.  I had a waffle, 3 hard-boiled eggs, and a glass of apple juice for breakfast.  For lunch I had a grilled chicken, bacon and Swiss cheese sandwich (I know bacon is bad, but it's so delicious) with a salad!  That's right, I resisted fries and incredible-looking onion rings and had a salad.  Go me!  Then for dinner I had pizza.  I made myself stop eating before I was full and just wait.  I wish I had done it sooner because after ten minutes or so I felt stuffed.  I'm glad I stopped when I did.

Would you like some pizza on your pizza?
I finished week three of C25k today.  It was tough since I forgot to pack any exercise clothes and ended up running in my sleep shorts and a t shirt.  It was raining and cold which actually made me want to run more in order to stay warm but I stuck to the program.  After my run I felt like I had conquered the elements.  I like the rain or shine exercise mentality.  It really makes me feel like I've accomplished something.

I got some incredible responses to my last post.  I talked about my inner critic and how I need to make "snackrifices."  I rely a lot on your comments when I'm doubting myself.  The comments from the last post really motivated me to keep going.  I'd like to share a couple of them.
Anonymous said...
Please stop "should"ing on yourself. You made mistakes in the past. Now is the time to start anew. Don't do things 'cause you "should" or "shouldn't" but rather because YOU made a concious decision to do/not do. Don't ever let food just happen to you. Regardless of whether it's "good" or "bad" just start with the realization that all of it, every last bite, is under your control. Food is not a sentient being, you are. Focus on the foods you love/enjoy that are also good for you. Focus on what you can eat, rather than on what you "can't". Begin to understand that you eat that salad/vegetable/lean protein/fruit/yogurt because it provides energy and nutrients that fuel and protect your body, not because you are punishing yourself or rectifying past mistakes. Eating well is no sacrifice, it's a feast.
Wow.  There are so many really good things in this comment.  My favorite sentence is "Don't ever let food just happen to you."  I'm in control of my food.  Not the other way around.  A few of you added that it's not easy to immediately jump into this mindset, but it's something to strive for.  As someone who's had an unhealthy relationship with food my entire life, I'm the first to realize this.  I'm going to strive for it and I'm going to enjoy the food I put in my body.

josie (35 and Shrinking) said...

man, I am all too familiar with that inner critic. Some days she just haunts me.

There is no cookie cutter way to be successful here. We all have to choose the path that works for us and it sounds like you're doing just that. Hang in there!

I really appreciate your support.  I often wonder if I'm doing anything right and just need a reminder that my journey is my own and I need to find what works for me.

Thanks to everybody who commented.  You managed to turn around some serious self doubt today.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beware of Puns

I've been feeling overwhelmed as of late.  I've had a lot on my plate (while trying to have less on my dinner plate) recently.  Whenever this has happened in the past, I've coped by eating.  I'm trying very hard not to make the same mistake this time.  Then there's my inner critic; a voice in my head telling me I'm never going to make my goal.  My inner critic knows when I'm feeling most vulnerable and knows exactly when to strike.  He always leaves me with a sinking, defeated feeling.

In order to succeed I need to push myself out of my comfort zone.  This is always a challenge.  There's a reason I weighed over 300 pounds a year ago, I don't like to be challenged.  Why?  Because I'm afraid I will fail.

I'm also afraid to make sacrifices.  I need to start by making snackrifices (I'm hilarious) and really watch my intake.  I've already given my weight loss journey a large amount of my time.  I need to make sure that time wasn't wasted (waisted?)  While I don't need to give up the foods I love, I have to cut way back on the unhealthy ones.  I don't think that's completely gotten through my thick skull yet.  I'm working at it, but eating right is something that pushes me way outside my comfort zone.

I should start a list of things I should probably do without.  One of these things is second helpings.  I try to stay away from buffets because they always end in disaster.  A friend of mine recently gave me a really good tip to help with buffets and family style eating.  Only go up once.  Fill your plate and then be done.  How many times have you eaten at a buffet and thought afterward, "I'm so glad I went up for a second helping"?  Never.  I always regret stuffing my face at a buffet.  I'd be willing to bet you do first.  I should probably do without second helpings in general.  Eat until you're no longer hungry, not until you're full.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Some Problems

I was really surprised at the response I got from my last post.  If you haven't, you should go back and read all the comments.  I had some very opposing viewpoints on me rewarding myself with a phone.

I agree that I can't keep myself perpetually motivated by an endless stream of rewards.  When I earn a reward, what motivation do I have to keep going?  I've got to lose weight for real reward, my health.

There's a very good book out there called Punished by Rewards that makes the point that rewards are bad for intrinsic motivation.  The author sites a number of studies that all indicate decreases in performance when rewards are involved.

I almost decided not to follow through with this incentive, but I'm still going to move forward with it.  Agree or disagree, it's something I feel will keep me focused for a little while.  I'm going to show myself I can follow through with a goal.

Mr. Scott is helping me get started with a new exercise plan.  I'm still going to continue C25k, but on the other days I'm going to start lifting weights.  I'm excited to get started.

My last point tonight is that I'm starting to come to the realization that I'm terrible at eating healthy.  It has been by far the weakest part of my weight loss journey.  I know what to eat (sort of) but I need to be a lot more informed about how to consistently eat that way.

Does anyone know of a good book about eating right?  I know there are a ton of books out there, but there's also a lot of crap out there.  What have you read that's changed your way of thinking about nutrition?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In

I just started week 3 of C25k.  Week 3 consists of a five minute warm-up followed by two sets of 90 seconds running - 90 seconds walking - 3 minutes running - 3 minutes walking.  I haven't run for 3 minutes straight in a long time.  At least not on asphalt. 

Let's get to the weigh-in.  It's late and I need sleep, so I'm putting the picture off until tomorrow.

I weighed in at 267 pounds this week.  It's a .2 pound loss from last week but I'm glad I lost instead of gained.  Still, pretty unimpressive.

I feel like my weight loss efforts have come to a grinding halt.  I've only exercised a couple times since my last weigh-in.  I've failed enough to recognize when I'm starting to slide.  There are a lot of reasons.  The weather has been gorgeous, I've been busy at work, I went to my alma mater, the University of Minnesota, Morris, for a weekend of sin, I've been sick, blah, blah, blah. 

I think the biggest thing for me is I have had some success.  I've lost over 30 pounds (actually 29 pounds if you take my recent spike into account).  I don't try to rest on my laurels, but I'm prone to doing so.  Not this time.  I worked hard to lose that weight and there's no way all that work is going to be in vain.

But that's just talk.

This Sunday at church we had a guest sermon by Rev. Dr. William Schulz, who, among other things, was the executive director for Amnesty International from 1994 to 2006.  He brought up a parable of a king who reached into a bird cage, took out a bird, and twisted its neck slowly until the spark of life had left the bird.  His cheeks were stained with tears the entire time.  One of the remaining birds in the cage turns to a comrade and says, "Look, there's hope.  The king is crying."  The other bird replied, "You fool.  Don't look at his eyes, but at his hands."

I know that's a very strange story to bring up right now, but the message was incredibly straightforward for me.  In the end, we're judged by our actions, not our intentions.  Schulz intended this story to be a call to action to make the lives of the less fortunate better.  We can't change the world by feeling sorry for the poor and the unfortunate, we need to make the world a better place for them with our deeds. 

So how does this relate to weight loss?  For me, this means I can talk about losing weight until I'm blue in the face, but unless I'm doing something about it, I'm still going to be fat.  I need to quit making excuses and work hard. 

I'm also going to tie a fairly sizable carrot to the end of a stick for myself.  Those of you who know me, know I'm a huge nerd with an eye for gizmos.  I've been up for a new phone on my Sprint contract for a while now and have been drooling over the HTC Evo.  It was announced a month ago and is slated for release "this summer" (hopefully June 6th or 13th, but those are both rumors).  This phone is sexy.  I've already decided that as long as I can afford it, this will be my next phone.  I want to be in line at the store the day this phone is released.

I've decided I have to lose 2 pounds every week (on average) from now until this phone comes out in order for me to get it.  That means if it comes out on June 13th, which is 8 weeks away, I will need to be 16 pounds lighter than I am right now in order to buy this phone.  If it comes out on June 6th, I'll only need to be 14 pounds lighter.  Even if it takes me a little longer to lose the weight, I'll still get the phone when I reach that number of pounds.  I want this phone bad and this is the only way I can think of to stay motivated on my weight-loss journey.

What do you do to stay motivated when you feel a slump coming on?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Things I Can Do Now: Part 1

A while ago, someone asked me what things I could do now that I'm a third of the way to my goal.  I've decided to start writing posts addressing these things.  They normally come up one at a time, so this will be an ongoing theme.

When Claire and I were registering for wedding gifts, I was upset because I couldn't find a towel that would wrap all the way around me.  I was determined to find one out there because I wanted to register for things that fit my body.  No such luck.  I was stuck with my bathrobe.  Everything was too small to wrap around my waist.  The other day I got out of the shower and grabbed one of Claire's towels since my robe was in the bedroom.  The towel fit comfortably around my waist!  I can now wear a towel out of the shower.  It's a small thing, but exciting nonetheless.

I'm also capable of going up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing (too much).  I'm running without destroying my knees, which is also fantastic.

One last thing.  I found an article on ADHD and obesity.  I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 10 and this article expresses a lot of the difficulties I've faced.  Take a look.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blog of the Week

I'm exercising again!  After a week of feeling ucky (yes, ucky), I finally felt well enough to complete week 2 of C25k.  I'm stoked to move on to week 3.

This week's blog of the week (I know, I was supposed to do this on Thursday.  I've been slacking the past couple days on posting.) had a really great line.  "Weight loss doesn’t solve everything. It’s just one step in the right direction."  This week's blog of the week is A Merry Life.  Her blog is seriously awesome.  A couple weeks ago, she did a workout pledge like I've done a couple times.  I, as well as 21 other bloggers, joined in.  180 comments later, we were each in for 90 minutes of exercise.  I split mine between C25k, a bike ride, and elliptical  I traveled nearly 10 miles between the three.  Go check out Mary's blog.  She's a great writer and all around fantastic person!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I'm in this limbo area between being able to dress passably in the clothes I own and absolutely needing to buy new ones.  Financially, I absolutely need to wait until I look like a homeless clown before I buy new clothes.  Of course I've got a few things that actually fit.  My incredible wife and I went shopping for new jeans not too long ago, so I've got two pairs of pants that fit.  I have a few shirts from when I was smaller and a few that I bought small and are fitting for the first time ever.  I also bought my first extra large shirt in five or six years this weekend.  It's a little snug, but my weight is headed down and I want to make sure I can wear that shirt when I'm thinner.  The real problem lies in my professional wardrobe.  My dress shirts are all quickly becoming too large.  A coworker insisted today that I can still pull them off, but I'm getting close to having to replace them. 

I want to be able to wear a large t shirt and size 34 or 36 jeans.  I've got a while before I get there, but I don't want to have to replace my wardrobe several times before I get there.  For the most part, I find shopping agonizing and like my clothes the way they are.

I guess it's a good problem to have. 

Have you had any unforeseen difficulties in your weight-loss journeys?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Short One

I spent the day in bed again.  Mugh...  (I think I just made up a new word!)  I'm going to try going back to work tomorrow.  We'll see how it goes.

I decided to go through all of the photos of me on facebook today.  I'm proud to say that I am currently lighter than I was in about half of the pictures.  Here's my favorite photo I found.

Sorry for the short and rather pointless post.  I'm gonna get some beauty rest.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weigh-In Results

It's Monday and time to weigh in.

I've had a sore throat that's recently exploded into a full-blown head cold, which is expanding into my lungs.  Gross.  I stayed home from work today and will probably be gone tomorrow as well.  I really hate being sick.

Anyway, I decided to go ahead with my weigh-in.  I didn't want to miss a weigh-in just because I was sick.  I haven't exercised since Thursday and the weekend was filled with food and beer the likes of which will not be seen for quite some time.  I ate a cheeseburger and fries and just felt yucky afterward.  I'm glad my body is adapting to my healthier eating habits.

We'd better get this weigh in over with.  It's not pretty.

The result: 267.2.  I'm sorry I don't have a picture but I figured I didn't need photographic proof of a 5 pound gain. 

So to review: I was sick, I didn't exercise, I've been eating poorly, I had a few beers, and I didn't exercise right before my weigh-in as per usual.  That resulted in me weighing 5 pounds more than I weighed last week.  I know what I did wrong and I know what I need to do.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Line

Sorry I haven't posted since Monday.  Don't worry, I'm still working toward my goal, I just had a busy week. 

I'm currently in Morris, Minnesota, where I went to college.  This weekend is Jazz Fest and I'm playing in the Alumni Band.  At last year's Jazz Fest, I weighed 51 pounds more than I weigh right now.  I bought myself an XL tshirt, which is a size smaller than I'm currently stocked with at home.  It's a little snug, but nothing that losing 10 pounds won't fix.  I don't think many people are noticing that I've lost that much weight though.  The only people who have said anything are those who follow my blog. 

I'm not upset that no one is noticing anything.  The people here aren't people I see on a regular basis.  It kind of makes me wonder if the brain is set up in such a way that it draws a distinct line between fat and not fat people.  Yes I'm a lot skinnier than I was last year at this time, but I'm not skinny yet. 

I had a friend who lost somewhere around 200 pounds over a couple years in college.  Nobody noticed when he first started to lose weight.  At least I didn't.  Then, after the next summer when classes resumed, he was nearly unrecognizable.  He probably lost 75 pounds in front of my eyes, but it wasn't until he crossed that line between fat and skinny in my mind that I noticed he had lost any weight.

So to those of you who have crossed the line of people noticing that you've lost weight, when did you notice it happening?  For those of you still on your way, when do you think it will happen?  Have you caught yourself doing the same thing?

Well, I'm going to enjoy the weather and some fantastic music! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Weigh-In*

I finally finished #amerryworkoutpledge.  I biked 6.5 miles, ran/walked (C25k week 2) 1.9 miles, and was on the elliptical for 26 minutes and 1.4 miles.  That's a total of 9.8 miles in 90 minutes!  Thanks Mary, for being so awesome!

I've got a goal that's not necessarily weight-loss related for the month of April.  Keep my apartment clean.  I think this will help in the weight-loss arena because when I'm in a more put-together environment, I behave in a more put-together way.

Moving on, this week's weigh-in has a big asterisk next to it for a couple reasons:

1.  I weighed in right after I finished exercising for 90 minutes.  I may have been quite dehydrated.
2.  I had a very small dinner tonight.  Just a chicken salad and some teddy grahams.  It sure was tasty though.  Spinach, chicken, Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing.  Mmm... so tasty.

Still, I'm happy with the number.

I've lost 33.8 pounds since I started my journey at the end of November.  I've hit two milestones this weigh-in.  The first is I'm a third of the way to my goal.  The second takes a bit more explaining.

On April 14th, 2009, I stepped on my bathroom scale and it said I weighed 313.2 pounds, the biggest number I've ever seen while weighing myself.  Next week is the one-year anniversary of that particular low point.  I'm thrilled to report that I am now 51 pounds lighter than I was this time last year!

I've been getting really frustrated with the scale as of late.  It's been my own fault.  I'm still way too relaxed with how much I eat.  I have a plan though.

I lost 51 pounds since last April.  I'm a third of the way to my goal.  I will lose 100 pounds by November 28th, 2010 and meet my goal!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blog of the Week and a Digital Postcard

So I forgot to post my blog of the week on Thursday.  I was too busy feeling lousy and pessimistic and not very good at all.  Things improved when I tried on my old red jacket and it fit!

Rachel at Body by Pizza left the following comment on Thursday's post:

'Not eating as well' as you'd 'like' and 'plateau' in the same sentence? Could these two somehow (somehow!) be related?

She's exactly right.  It's so easy to make excuses.  I've done so poorly at monitoring my intake.  Really poorly.  Here's the plan:

Week One: Monitor everything I eat on The Daily Plate even if I take in 10,000 calories in a day.  

Week Two: Stay within The Daily Plate's recommended calories (somewhere around 2600).  Keep recording everything I eat.

Week Three: Cut my daily calorie consumption to around 2200 calories a day.

I've got to get better at logging my consumption.  If I don't know how much I'm eating, I'm going to keep self sabotaging.

Thanks for the much-needed ball busting Rachel.  Body by Pizza is this week's Blog of the Week!  I'm a sucker for blogs with awesome names.  She's lost 107 pounds already and she's shooting for a 121 pound loss.  Go check her out.

Claire spent last night with some relatives for a girls' weekend in Minneapolis.  I was "bachin' it" as my dad used to say when my mom was away.  So I went over to my friend, Jake's, house and things got pretty wild.  Don't worry, I didn't eat or drink everything or go over on calories or anything.  I went for a run and a walk yesterday too!  We decided we needed to use the remote control on my camera and make a stop motion video.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present to you our first stop motion film, Happy Easter: A Digital Postcard.  Enjoy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This afternoon, my wife and I went out for an adventure.  We started at Ikea, then went to the park for a mini photo-shoot and hike, then we went to Target.
When we were at Ikea, I started feeling really light-headed.  I had to sit down a couple times, but I got a carbonated Swedish apple beverage thing and felt a little better.  We went to the park and I felt okay, but not great.  Then at Target I started feeling lousy again. 

We came home and rested for a little bit.  After I ate some food I felt better, but I still feel pretty lousy.  I'm pretty foggy right now.

I'm not used to feeling this way and I don't like it one bit. 

It might be a reaction to the heat and humidity; we hit 80 here today for the first time this year.  I'm also wondering if I've overexerted myself with all the extra exercise I've been partaking in this week. 

I was going to do Mary's #amerryworkoutpledge tonight and spend 90 minutes on the elliptical.  I'm going to have to put it off until tomorrow or Saturday.  I feel bad taking a rest day, but I really don't want to pass out at the gym.

I'm afraid I've hit a plateau.  My last few weigh-ins have been pretty piddly.  At least they've all been losses.  I wanted to make Monday's weigh-in really big, but things aren't looking that way.  I haven't been eating as well as I want and my body isn't cooperating today.

Sorry for the pessimistic post.  I know I'm capable of losing the next 69 pounds.  I just need to figure out the best plan of attack.  

Advice, Workout Pledges, and Binges.

First of all, thanks to Kat for the mention on her site.  Secrets to Losing 100 Pounds was the very first blog I started reading when I was just starting 100 Pounds in a Year.  I really connected with her because she had the same weight loss goal I had and was already on her way toward reaching it.  If you look carefully, you'll see I stole borrowed much of my layout from her.  She featured a piece of advice I sent her about building habits.  Check her out here!

Regarding another blog.  Mary at A Merry Life recently did a workout pledge.  Her's was much more simple than any I've done.  She added 30 seconds for every comment posted on her blog.  I (along with 21 other weight-loss bloggers) decided I should match her pledge.  180 comments later, the time limit for the pledge was set.  My next workout would be 90 minutes long.

I tried to do it today, but realized after 50 minutes on the elliptical that I had somewhere to be and couldn't possibly finish.  So I decide I'll be starting again tomorrow (and finishing this time).

I also did day 2 of C25k today with my wife.  Other than the side aches, I'm really digging it.  It's a very manageable way to get this fat guy running.

I also have a confession to make.  I had a mini-binge today.  Claire and I went to a picnic for a friend's birthday.  There were chips and salsa there and I had a lot of both.  I also had some Doritos and some orange Gatorade and the most amazing tiramisu (sp) brownies ever.  I was stuffed in the end, but I figure some of that was negated by the double-dose of workout I had today.

One last thing, I recently heard from a friend I haven't heard from in a while.  He mentioned that he'd been reading my blog and every time he needs a push to get to the gym, he reads my blog.  It makes me feel really good to know that I'm helping other people become healthier. 

He told me about a facebook group he's a part of called Beach Body Here I Come!  It's a group of people keeping each other motivated to lose weight and live healthier.  I'll be going there frequently to give and get advice and motivation.  You should check it out too.

What or who inspires and motivates you to live a healthier life?