Monday, January 31, 2011

Weigh-In Results

Happy Monday!  I was sick all through the weekend.  Again... Blech.  I'm sick of Winter and I'm sick of being sick.  Things seem to be much better now.  Here's hoping I stay healthy for a while.

Speaking of being healthy, let's get to the weigh-in.

Thanks to everyone who assured me my 8.2 pound gain last week was mostly water weight from all the Gatorade and chicken noodle soup I took in when I was sick.  It seems you were right.  I managed to take off 6.3 pounds of it this week even though I was too sick to work out almost the entire week.

Today marks the beginning of my second 21-day challenge of 2011.  This time I'm logging everything I eat for three weeks.  This has been my Achilles Heel since I started over a year ago.  If I had managed to start out successfully logging my calories, I'm sure I would have made my one-year goal of losing 100 pounds.

I'm not sure how I'm going to be successful other than to have my wife, Claire (have I mentioned how impressed I am by her commitment to joining my weight loss journey?), try to help remind me if I've logged my intake that day. I'll be using Fat Secret Calorie Counter, though I may experiment with other apps for my Android phone.  I think once I start seeing my results, I'll be more motivated.  Do you have any advice on how to be successful counting calories?

I doubled up on the exercise today.  First, I went to the gym and ran for a little over a mile.  But the real work-out came at home.  Claire decided to get the KettleWorx kettle bell with a six-DVD set of exercises.  I decided to give it a shot.  I figured I'm pretty strong, This 5-pound weight isn't going to be much of a challenge.  I was wrong.  It kicked my ass.  I'll let Claire write the full review once she's done all the workouts.  I'm definitely going to keep using it three times a week.  It's good exercise.

One last thing.  I'm doing the Polar Bear Plunge again this year.  Now if you weren't around a year ago, let me tell you what it's all about.  Up here in the colder climes, we do silly things in the winter like cutting into frozen lakes and jumping into them.  "Why," you might ask, "would anyone do this?"  It's simple.  I'm jumping into freezing water in order to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota.  I work with a lot of kids with special needs and the Special Olympics is a cause close to my heart.  I'm also doing this in memory of my grandmother who died a year ago this week.  Not that she would ever do this herself.  My mom said it best last year when she said "Grandma would be proud.  And nervous".

Last year I raised over $500.  This year I'd like to beat it.  Please help me raise money.  I'll be incredibly grateful for any and all donations.  Seriously, no donation is too small.  To donate, click here.  Thank you so much!

Friday, January 28, 2011


It's been a long time since I've posted measurements.  But my wife, Claire, has been doing them weekly since she started guest posting on my blog.  Well, she inspired me to get back in the habit of taking measurements.

The last time I took measurements was almost 8 months ago on May 3rd.  Since then, I've only come down in weight 5.3 pounds.  I've been really down on myself recently for stagnant scale readings after such an amazing start.

Below are the measurements I took using instructions from this website.  In red, are the changes since my last measurements in May.

Neck: 18" -1"
Shoulder: 51" -3.75"
Bicep: -1"
Chest: 47.5" -3"
Waist: 45" -0.5"
Hips: 44.5" -2"
Thigh: 23 -5.5"
Calf: 18" -0.5      

I lost 5.5 inches from one thigh!  That makes me very happy.  On Monday I'm going to start counting calories again.  Hopefully, that will help push my weight down.  I've made progress.  I'm happy.

Oh, one more thing.  Do you want sexy legs like mine?  Hop on your bicycle.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sickly, but Successful

I have been sick.  It started right before Christmas.  Then it seemed to get better, and either I lucked out and got a new bug, or even better, the sickness continued.  I finally went to the doctor yesterday and got a WONDERFUL antibiotic which is working magic.  When she asked how I thought I got sick, I said, "Well, my husband is an elementary school teacher..."  She interrupted me by saying, "Say no more."  Kids are germ factories, and it doesn't help that objects often get inserted into mouths at Andrew's school.  Of course they are sanitized, but still...

On to my numbers.....1.6 pounds lost this week.  Now, I only exercised about 3 of those days, so the weight is more likely due to my lack of appetite, but I hope to take it and keep up with it.  That is a grand total of 7.7 pounds for the month.  And, as it is the end of the month, I also have a few measurements to share with you.  This month I lost the following from my body:

Chest: 1.5"
Biceps: .5" (each arm)
Waist: 1"
Hips: 1.5"
Thigh: .5" (each leg)

That is a grand total of 6 inches from my body.  All in all I have had a very successful month.  I am very pleased with my results, even though from week to week they really haven't been huge.  It helps to look at it from a monthly perspective - a few consistent losses can really add up.  If I can keep this up I could potentially have lost 35 pounds by June 1.  That would be great.  My sister graduates in June, and the whole family will be there - it would be a great time to show off a new/improving body.

But for now, I'm still sick.  Which means it's past my bedtime.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Do you have a lot of weight to lose?  Are you kicking yourself for spending years and years out of control?  Are you mad because you lost a lot of weight and gained it back?  Stop right now.  You don't need to look back anymore.  Here's why:

Start now.  Change how the story ends.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Weigh-In Results

I'm sick.  Ugh.  I took the day off of work and feel like I'm wallowing in my own filth.  I hate this crap.  I've been eating loads of chicken noodle soup and drinking lots of Gatorade.  I'm boated and gross.

Claire, on the other hand, feels like she's lost five pounds blowing her nose today.

Let's see the results.

This scale reading makes me want to cry.  I worked my ass off every day for 21 days without fail and I end up gaining 8.2 pounds.  I feel like I'm letting myself down.  I feel like I'm letting you down.  This makes it abundantly clear that while exercise has brought me a long way and is a vital part of my weight loss strategy, it is not the only solution to my problem. Next Monday I'm going to start counting calories for 3 weeks straight.  I've never made it that long counting calories, so I'm going to give it the old college try.  Of course, it took me 6 years to get my BA, but I did it.

On the plus side, I finished my 21 day challenge yesterday.  20 days of gym visits and 20 flights of stairs yesterday.  I have a victory under my belt now.  Despite a hefty gain this week, I have a trophy I can put on the shelf.  I'm going to keep at it 4 to 6 days a week.  I'm also going to keep working on upping the intensity level of my workouts.  Hopefully, I'll get to a point where I do at least 5k on the treadmill at least three times a week.

This isn't over.  I'm going to lose 100 pounds.  I'm going to be healthy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

King Size!

A few years ago I signed up for a catalog called King Size.  I was sick of the clothes in the store not fitting anymore, so I ordered a big and tall men's clothing magazine.

I know it's not the greenest thing to do, but it brings me so much joy to chuck this catalog in the trash as soon as I get it every couple of months.  It's one of the times I can really appreciate how far I've come.

If you can think of a better alternative, let me know.  Most creative response wins my next copy of King Size to use as you see fit.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Week, Another Loss

This week I'm just going to cut to the chase.  I lost 1.4 pounds.  Nothing as spectacular as last week's but I knew I could never sustain those results.  That's a grand total of 6.1 pounds in two weeks.  I feel confident that I will meet my goal of losing 7 pounds in the month of January.

I started this week tired and was never able to shake the sleep loss.  I had a high-school overnight with my 9th graders over the weekend and, although only 23, cannot bounce back like a 15-year-old can after only a few hours of sleep.

I also started my spring semester of classes.  While I was driving from work to school this afternoon, I thought about how it will be difficult to continue exercising now that my days have become longer.  I'm glad the 21 days are almost up, but I think I should be able to sustain regular exercise, just not exercise every day.

Andrew found a 9 week interval training program similar to the one we did together last spring/summer.  This one is not specifically for distance, as it is for total running time.  I started the program this week, and will finish shortly before my spring break.  It will be a good way to ensure I exercise at least three times per week and hopefully I can add one or two non-running workouts in my routine.

I am still using the Malibu Pilates Chair and the DVDs.  They are difficult, and I work up a sweat, but I haven't grown tired of them like I have other exercise regimes.  I think it's because I'm doing Pilates about 3 times a week and going to the gym the other 4.

I am also still watching what I eat/counting calories.  I have (mostly) cut out snacking and increased my fruit and veggie intake.  I strive for 4 servings a day, but usually end up with 3 (except for today, I actually got 4!). I have noticed that after the first week of being absolutely miserable and being hungry all the time, I do not have as large of an appetite.  Whenever I begin to feel hungry I either reach for a fruit/veggie choice, or I drink something.  Tea, coffee, water all have really helped to to keep my hunger at bay.  Also, waiting 20 minutes after eating to see if I'm actually still hungry or just tempted by the delicious food.

I realize that what I'm doing is not revolutionary;  if anything, it is overly simple.  I just watch what I eat and exercise every day.  I do have one major motivation, however.  I have made myself a promise that I will not buy anymore clothes until I go down two sizes.  Then I get a whole new wardrobe.  That is probably the biggest motivation of all.

That's all for my blundering thoughts this week.  Only 3 more days of the 21 day challenge!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Long Day

I am absolutely drained.  Tuesday is the day I teach private lessons.  I love working with the kids I work with, but the 12 hour work-day broken up only by half hour commutes in a car with no heat (it was -3 here this morning) can wear you down. 

I came home to dinner cooked by my incredible wife, Claire.  It tasted fantastic.  Afterward I just wanted to curl up and go to bed.  That, however, was not in the cards.  I needed to get to the gym.

At the gym, I ran another 5k on the treadmill.  I feel like I'm moving mountains when the machine tells me I burned over 500 calories.  All in all, I'm pretty sure I'm leaving this day a little thinner than I entered it.

I have 5 days left of my 21-day challenge.  It will feel good to have something concrete like that under my belt.  It's been a while.

How are your 21-day challenges going?  Anyone still hanging in there?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weigh-In Results

I really need to get better about blogging.  I haven't written anything since last week.  That needs to change. 

Anyway, I've been doing a really good job at exercising.  Not only have I completed 15 days of my 21 day challenge, but I've really cranked it up a notch this week.  On Friday I ran 5k on the treadmill.  I've been doing more with intervals too.  I'll start at 2 miles per hour, then 3, then 4, then, 5, then 6, then back to 2.  I do these in intervals of one minute.  I know it's probably not the most effective way to do it, but it definitely kicked my ass.

Let's see if the extra push with the exercise has been helping.

246.7!  I lost 2.3 pounds this week!  The exercise definitely payed off.  I'm going to keep working hard and hopefully I'll keep seeing results.  I'll try to blog more too.

How is your 21 day challenge going?

Friday, January 14, 2011


To all-

Claire again.  I have been successful this past week in keeping up with the 21 day challenge.  We are now half way through it.  The first 5 days or so were the hardest, but the last 5 have been invigorating.  After my body has gotten used to the workouts, it's not as painful, but I am requiring more massages.

I have NOT been successful at counting my calories, BUT I know I have cut back on my eating.  After about 5 days of counting I realized that it is not my meals that are too much, but the snacking between meals.  So long as I only have regular sized portions, I eat about 175 calories for breakfast, 300-350 for lunch, and about 400-500 for dinner.  So even at most the meals are only bringing in about 1050 calories a day - so even with a 120 calorie ice-cream treat during the day, I still have about 400 calories to work with.

However, that can be taken over quickly by a bite-size snickers here, a medium white mocha there, and some sweets later.  To solve this problem, I am allowing myself 2 or 3 snacks a day, my choice, BUT they have to be either a fruit or veggie based.  For example, celery with laughing cow cheese, or a banana with peanut butter.  This helps me to get enough servings of fruit and veggies, while still helping me to get whatever I'm craving (usually sugar or salt).

I'd have to say this system is working quite well for me so far.  This week I lost 4.7 pounds.  I will be reporting my inches lost every month, as that is the recommended reporting period.  I am very pleased with my results this week.  While I do not expect, nor think it good to have such a huge loss every week, it is wonderful to have such a great start!  If I can lose another 6 this month and then 1.5 or 2 pounds every week after that I will be quite pleased.

I have begun to notice the difference in a few shirts, and my goal is to lose about 2 pant sizes.  I would be thrilled with 3, but would feel I had truly succeeded if I managed to lose 2 sizes.

That's all for this week.  I hope to bring you good news next week!

and to all a good night,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Weigh-In Results

Well, it's Monday and I've been going to the gym every day for the past 7 days.  Let's see how I did.

Well, it's not my greatest loss, but since last week I've lost 1.1 pounds.  The scale is moving in the correct direction again.  It's now time to change velocity.  I gave in to the extra cravings I felt from burning more calories so even though I'm not doing my calorie counting challenge until February, I'm going to try to keep a closer eye on what I eat.  I'm also going to try to get more sleep and seeing as it's past my bed time I'm going to start with that. 

Goodnight everyone.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Late Night

Last night, my wife, Claire, and I got rush tickets to see Billy Elliot.  First of all, if you haven't seen this show, it's a must.  The acting, dancing, music, and tech are all phenomenal.  The story is at the same time light-hearted and emotionally engaging. 

We got home from the play at 11:45 and hadn't had a chance to exercise yet.  Temptation was high to skip, but we stayed strong and went to the gym at midnight. 

It's times like these that really build a habit.  I wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed after an amazing night out, but I didn't give myself the option.  The only thing I regret about going, was how late we got to bed (2:30).  We were so jazzed from the play and then we got our blood pumping at the gym.  It definitely made it much easier to get off the couch and to the gym tonight.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The New Blogger


As tonight is my first post, I don't have any numbers to share with you.  I will be weighing myself and measuring and keep you posted on pounds/inches lost.  Maybe someday I'll share the starting numbers. :)

I have joined Andrew's 21 day challenge, like many of you.  I have been exercising before this, but after 4 days straight my body is already screaming for a break.  A few weeks ago I purchased a Malibu Pilates chair from e-bay.  The chair is good for resistance and toning.  It came with DVDs and they have been challenging and fun so far.  The best thing about them is they are only about 30 minutes each: just about the length of my exercise attention span.

I have also been counting my calories every day.  I have tried doing this before by myself but it is just too easy to lie to myself about what I really ate.  We've all done it: claiming only 1 bite-size Snickers rather than 3.  By lying to myself in the past nothing changed and I gained no positive results: only frustration.  However, this time there is a change.  I'm having Andrew help me.  While it is easy to lie to myself it is impossible to lie to Andrew.  I have too much love and respect for him to lie, even over something as little as how many bite-size Snickers I ate that day.  I don't mean to say that I hate myself, or I have low-self worth; but rather I can't lie to the love of my life.

Next week I will hopefully be able to share some lower numbers with you.


I thought I'd share a thoughtful picture with you.

Day 4 of 21

Sorry it's been a few days.  I've been meaning to post every day, but getting to the gym has been taking top priority.  That and sleep (which I haven't been getting enough of).

I'm pretty worn out.  It's hard to make yourself go to the gym when you get home at 9, but I did it last night.  The only time I really feel like myself though is when I'm exercising.  It really makes me feel good.

Lately, I've been using the treadmill a lot.  I've been warming up with a 15 degree incline at 3 miles per hour for 6 or 7 minutes, then I'll do a little strength-training, then go back to the treadmill and put in some slow running.  Slow because I'm a slow runner.  Very slow.  Did I mention I was slow?  Slow.

I've been working up a fierce sweat and I'm really hoping it pays off on Monday's weigh-in. 

And don't forget that my wife, Claire, has her first official post on the blog tonight.  I'm looking forward to reading it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Blogger (Plus Weigh-In Results)

Happy Monday!  If you're here for the weigh-in, we'll get to that in a little bit.  First I'd like to talk about some changes to the blog.

My amazing wife, Claire, has agreed to be a weekly guest-blogger this year.  Why?  You might ask.  I'll let her answer that.

This year I have decided to get serious about weight loss.  When Andrew started this blog a little over a year ago, I was not capable of being a full participant on his journey.  I was in my first semester of law school, had just lost my best friend and was adjusting to married life and a new city.  While I encouraged Andrew, I really just was able to do the bare minimum for myself.  I exercised when I could and tried to eat healthy. I gained and lost weight, but essentially my weight and waist remained static.
This year I am in a much different head-space.  I have the whole law school-thing (basically) figured out, have settled into the city and married life, and I'm generally more self-confident.  I, too, am ready to begin my weight-loss journey.

I do not have as much weight to lose as Andrew.  I don't mean to be inconsiderate.  I can (should?) lose some weight and some inches; and that is exactly what I plan to do.  I will be blogging once a week to share my experiences from a female perspective, but I won't be sharing any starting numbers.  I will share my progress, but some things are better left to the imagination.

Claire will be writing a guest-post each Thursday so you only have to wait a few days to hear from her again.  I'm so happy she's joining me.  It's going to make it much easier to stick to a plan if both of us are fully on board.

As I promised, I have a weigh-in number for you.

I'm not going to pretend I'm not disappointed by this week's weigh-in, but it's not unexpected either.  I've been incredibly sedentary for the last two weeks and it shows.  Lots of driving, sitting, christmas cookies, eating out, etc. are some of the culprits.  The scale has been moving in an upward direction for a while now, but this reading marks the end of the upward trend.  I'm back in the saddle and today marked the first day of my three weeks of going to the gym every day.  Since I started my blog, the single most productive thing I did for myself was exercising every day.

I've got a new lease on life (or at least remembered an old one).  And I'm not the only one. Claire and a few commenters on my blog let me know they are with me.  I'm going to officially challenge you.  Can you exercise every day for 21 days?  No excuses.  Just make it to the gym (or whatever exercise you have available to you.  Who's with me?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.  Tomorrow is the day I step back on the scale and gear up to take another big chunk out of the fat I've been carrying around with me.

In 2011 I want to meet my goal of losing 100 pounds (from a starting weight of 296).  I'm not big on new year's resolutions, but this is a good time to get back on the horse. 

How will you accomplish this?  you might ask.

I've got a strategy.

Phase 1:  Go to the gym every day for the next three weeks.  It takes three weeks to establish something as a habit.

Phase 2:  Track my intake every day for three weeks.  This is probably the single most helpful thing you can do to lose weight.

Phase 3:  Drink 64 or more ounces of water every day for three weeks. 

I'm thinking I'll do one phase each month but I may feel ambitious and start phase 2 as soon as I finish phase 1.

I'll still be weighing myself once a week, but on the first Monday of each month, I'll do measurements too.

What else should I be doing?  What has helped you lose weight?  What's your goal for 2011?  How will you accomplish it?

And now, I'm heading to the gym.  Time to kick some ass in 2011.