Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weigh-In Results

It's my third anniversary, so I'm going to make this quick.  I lost 2.7 pounds this week!

Sorry the picture's upside-down.  Let's see how well I can manage next week.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Using Technology to Lose Weight

I've been trying to keep a handle on my caloric intake lately.  After all, weight loss is simple math:

Calories in < Calories out

To do that, I've been using MyFitnessPal.  It's a free online calorie counter that I can use on my Android phone.  It syncs with my FitBit and adjusts how many calories I can take in that day using the data on how active I've been.  MyFitnessPal lets you log everything you've eaten, track exercise,

My wife, Claire, uses LoseIt! and really likes it.  

The most valuable thing counting calories brings to the table is the awareness of how many calories are in anything.  Even on days I don't track, I still read labels.  I understand that a cookie from Panera Bread is 450 calories (one quarter of my allotted daily intake) and a serving of carrots is 35 calories.  When you realize how much your favorite foods are really costing you as far as your daily calories are concerned, it puts them in perspective.

I've been noticing lately that sweets tend to make me go off the rails.  Sweets beget more sweets.  It's a dangerous cycle, but that's the topic for another post.

So if you haven't yet, give apps like LoseIt! or MyFitnessPal a chance.

If you're ready to step into the future to lose weight, here is a large list of apps I use or know about to help me be fit.  All of them are free for download, but some of them have paid versions.  Audible is the only one that requires a subscription.  Which apps do you use?  Does anyone know of any really cool apps I didn't list?

Logging Calories 
MyFitnessPal - Calorie counter
Android      iTunes

LoseIt - Calorie counter
Android      iTunes

FatSecret Calorie Counter - Yup, another calorie counter
Android      iTunes

Endomondo - A great GPS-based exercise tracking app
Android      iTunes

Strava - A bicycle specific exercise app
Android      iTunes

Workout Trainer - Workouts led by expert trainers
Android    iTunes

Couch to 5k - If you're new to running, this website and app are for you.  Over the course of 9 weeks they take you from not running at all to running a 5k.
Android    iTunes  (the iTunes app is different from the Android one, if you don't like it, there are a bunch of other Couch to 5k trainers in the app store).

Pandora - Personalized internet radio
Android      iTunes

Audible - For days I'd rather listen to an audiobook (the app is free but the service costs money)
Android      iTunes

Beyondpod - Great for listening to podcasts during a workout

Songza - Like Pandora, but lets you select songs based on your mood
Android      iTunes

Google Play Music - With this app, I have access to my entire music library

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Love My New Neighborhood!

Note: I wrote this on Tuesday night but decided not to publish it until Thursday because I have a couple other posts in the cue.

I love going for runs in my new neighborhood.  I'm less than a mile from the Mississippi and about two from St. Anthony Falls and the historic Stone Arch bridge in Minneapolis.  For those of you not from the area, Minneapolis was founded because it was near Fort Snelling and St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi, which was used to power sawmills and flour mills.  Names like Pillsbury, Gold Medal Flour, and General Mills all come from Minneapolis.  The Stone Arch bridge is an old railroad bridge converted for pedestrian use and both sides of the river are filled with artifacts from the boom of the milling industry in the early 1900s.

Exploring my new neighborhood makes me excited to go running and seems to give me a little extra energy.  Here are some pictures I've taken on runs.  Forgive the lighting levels, I went out a little late. 

And since we're living in the future, here are the details of my run.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Color Run

On Sunday I ran a totally awesome 5K.  It's called the Color Run because at every kilometer (approximately) people pelt you with a different color of powdered paint.
By the end of the race I was a rainbow-colored hot mess.  But I ran the whole thing without walking.  I'd you have the opportunity to run one of these, take it.  I has a blast.  Also, it was, by far, the healthiest thing I've ever done at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

I still have a little paint on me.  I'm also not sore at all from the run!  I guess I've got to start adding more miles on.  I think I'll start tonight.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weigh-In Results

I know it's Tuesday, but I thought I'd get back in the habit of weighing in.  I've had a great week as far as exercise is concerned.  Several 4-mile runs and the color run.  Eating has had it's ups and downs as per usual, but most days I kept a lid on it.  Let's get to the numbers.

That's down from 265.  A 2.5 pound loss is respectable, I just need to keep it going.  I was going through old pictures and I found this.

Yup.  I need to get back there and beyond.  That's all there is to it.  Time to get in gear, because 240 means I can drink beer again, and I'm feeling thirsty.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I was feeling run down and fat last night so I got up and went for a run.  I went four miles and got to explore a new part of Minneapolis.  I am a little sore this morning, but I came up with a great goal.  I'm going to run or walk 5k every day for a week.  I'm also going to log my calories during that time.  Let's see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Feeling Deflated

I could sit here and wish I had a higher metabolism, or I could actually do something about it.  I'm going for a run.

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Oldie but Goody.

As I type this I'm watching Jamie Oliver speak on why we're obese.  I think everyone in America should watch this once a year.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I've quit drinking

I don't think I mentioned this earlier.  I quit drinking until I reach 240 pounds.  I did this a couple months ago but haven't posted it on here.  It's been tough.  Especially since I brewed a batch of beer yesterday, but once I hit 240 pounds, the beer I drink will definitely be worth it.

Alcohol is not good for diet or exercise.  It's loaded with empty calories and dehydrates you like crazy.

It's not the hardest thing I've done to lose weight, but hopefully it will be effective.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another Try

Hey all.  I'm going to try to do this blog thing again.  I've been working on individual pieces of reducing my weight, but have yet to successfully put it all together again.  I'm not sure if I'm ready, but I'll give it the old college try (actually, I gained 70 pounds in college, so I guess I'll just try).

So here's what's been happening since April.

My wife, Claire, and I moved to a new house in Northeast Minneapolis.  We were in an apartment before so we're really liking having more space in a better neighborhood.

I wrapped up my school-year and have been teaching summer school.  It's a whole different ballgame than regular school, but I'm enjoying myself and it's nice to be earning a little extra money.

Claire lost an aunt and a friend of my family recently passed away as well.  Death is always hard to deal with and always leads to me losing control of my ability to regulate what I eat.

Claire threw me an amazing surprise party for my birthday - and I overate.

We went to our friends' son's second birthday party - and I overate.

We went to a fourth of July party - and I overate.

If you're noticing a trend here, keen observation.

I have also gone stints of about two weeks at a time tracking calories.  Most days I stay within bounds.  On days I don't track, I tend to go off the rails a bit.

I weight 265 pounds today.  Let's fix that.

So here I am.  Ready to give this another shot.  Let's see if I can have some success this time.

Workout and a Cupcake

I went to the gym today for the first time in about a month.  It felt really good to get moving, although I was huffing and puffing a little bit.  I lifted some weights and was on the treadmill for about half an hour.  All told, I burned about 400 calories.

Our neighbors had us over for their son's first birthday today.  I had a cupcake.  Our neighbors made them skinny (sans egg yolk) but I'm sure it was still in the ballpark of 200-300 calories.  By no means a diet-breaker, but not exactly healthy.  I still managed to successfully stay under my calories today.

Here's the deal: I would much rather not eat a cupcake than spend half an hour on a treadmill.  Yes, every time I eat something sweet my brain's pleasure centers go bonkers.  So much so that once I start eating anything with sugar in it, I have a hard time stopping.  But it's not worth spending that long exercising making up for it.