Thursday, August 16, 2012

LateSummertime and the Livin' is Easy

Happy Another Mushroom Season, folks. The boys and Grandpa and I went on the hunt for oyster mushrooms today. Found nada this time around. We'll probably go back out tomorrow. The shrooms are really popping up like crazy now that we're finally getting some rain.

Summer is winding down, schooltime is coming back up and our family is slowly getting back into our routine. Getting back into the normal dinner time. Getting back into normal bedtime. And me...I'm back into my healthy eating routine and seeing my weight go down rather than up.

Summer for me is hard, fatwise. Partly because of lack of routine. It's hard to be in a routine when it's blazing hot out, the Big Lake beckons and friends are inviting us and the kids over to lounge on the beach with a brewski.

It's cooling down and I think I might have to get back into chopping wood for our fireplace again. I suspect that burns a calorie or two.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Michigan Crab Boil

There's all sorts of talk about the hunter gatherer diet. I think one of the reasons those guys were so freakin' thin is less about What they ate and that they had to go tromping around through the woods to get it before they could eat it.

I've recently gotten a bit addicted to Michigan crayfish.

Today some friends and I went Up North and dipped a huge pot of big ol' crayfish. Flipping over rocks, walking through the river...

These here are rusty crayfish. An invasive species of crayfish in the Great Lakes region. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says, and I quote:

A potential control of this aquatic alien may be as close as your cookbook. They can be used for a variety of tasty dishes. Michigan's fishing regulations place several restrictions on the use and sale of rusty crayfish in Michigan.
The DNR says to eat them. So we are.

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012: No flying cars and we're still debating the human diet


Dieticians need to stop MESSING with my HEAD and just settle on what does and does not work dietwise. Calories in calories out works and then it doesn't....some stand by the theory and some don't.

How hard can this be?

How can we possibly be here in 2012 and not have a firm understanding of what makes folks fat and what makes them Not Fat?

How can we could JUST be learning this stuff. We were supposed to have flying cars by now instead of having our scientific minds mired down in trying to figure out how the hell human beings can keep from getting too fat.

Very frustrating.

Here are four myths I read about today in a CBSNews article
  • A calorie is a calorie is a calorie
  • Calorie counts are always accurate
  • Counting calories is the key to weight control
  • Cutting 3500 calories equals one pound of weight loss
The last three I don't much care for. I've done pretty well so far counting calories and assuming 3500 calories equals a pound of weight loss. So I'm just going to throw those three out.

But I am trying to track down exactly about this whole business about calories from different foods functioning  differently in the body. Here's what the article wrote:

In the past few years, we've learned a lot more about how our bodies react to identical calorie levels from different foods, and a new Harvard study is further proof.
Another recent study found that saturated fats, like those found in butter, whole milk, and fatty meats, may override the body's natural satiety mechanism (which enables you to feel full), whereas unsaturated fats, from plant sources like olive oil, avocado, and nuts, may enhance satiety, even when the calorie levels don't differ.
A key study from Wake Forest University found that, even at the exact same calorie and fat levels, monkeys fed trans-fats gained four times more weight and 30 percent more belly fat compared to those given meals made with natural, plant-based fats.
And a recent Penn State study found that, over a 12-week period, dieters who consumed whole grains rather than refined grains lost more belly fat, despite the diets otherwise being identical.
All of this means that quality may be more important than quantity when it comes to the fate of the calories you consume.
So there it is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I've gained some weight

I haven't blogged. I haven't Tweeted. I haven't lost weight since last I wrote.

And worse...I've gained back three pounds.

I'm not back at 220 again, but I'm climbing and that is cause for concern. I need to nip that in the bud. So! How am I going to nip that in the bud? I need to assess what's going on that I'm doing wrong so I can go back to doing what is healthy:

So what's happened that I'm gaining weight again? I shall reflect in the numbered list below:
  1. A supportive community is critical to weight loss and I haven't been keeping in touch with the supportive and supporting community that came from blogging and tweeting.  Posting my progress and thoughts online and reading about others' efforts really kept me moving forward more than I thought. And supportive comments from folks I've met online were very helpful. I need to keep up with the small, personal online community if I'm going to meet my goal for the year.
  2. Summer Festivities - As I've mentioned before, I have a weakness for beer and barbecues and summer in Muskegon, Michigan is pretty much jampacked with beer and barbecues. Friends come over on a hot evening and you have beer or other cool beverages, and you put some burgers on the grill...somebody always brings chips. Or you go out to some summer festival where there's tons of ice cream with the kids and hot dogs and elephant ears and popcorn and sodapops. Folks say that summer is a great time to lose weight....I disagree. I need to cut back on the carbs again, and that means less beer more water. This is going to be hard. But it's gotta be done.
  3. Not enough exercise - It's been hot and I don't exercise when it's hot. I just don't. We don't have AC in the house, either. So we just roast and wait out the summer heat and eat ice cream and of course cold beer when the friends come over. To remedy this I may start going into my basement to exercise late at night or early in the morning. It's about 10 degrees cooler there.
I think that's it for now.

See you sometime later this week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Woo! So you've lost weight! Slap me some extra skin, bro!

Down to 215. I'm 35 pounds lighter.

Confessional time: Here's a dirty little secret about weightloss. For a while I think I actually looked slightly LESS flattering at 35 pounds down than I did when I had lost only 25 pounds.  That's changing now that my skin tighted up, but for a while the excess skin was noticable to me.


It wasn't super prounounced, but I could see it. My skin just felt looser. Like I'd put on some sort of fat suit or something, even though I'd lost weight.
Turns out, it takes a while for your skin to shrink to match your actual size. This is a new concept for me. I know, I know. I'm a slow learner. But one of my goals here is to chronicle the process of weightloss and this is one of them. Extra skin.

Extra skin is one of the many reasons you're supposed to lose weight at the recommended 2 pounds or so per week. Cuz any faster and your skin doesn't have time to keep up with weightloss and could actually lose some of its elasticity. I may be frustrated at the slow pace of weightloss, and that I've failed to meet my goal two months in a row....but on the plus side, my skin had tightened up considerably over the past two months so I FEEL a little thinner even though I haven't really lost much.

Obviously, the bigger you are, the more loose skin you're going to have.

But the good news is that for most of us our skin is going to tighten back up over time.  Here's a great article with details about the process of your skin returning to normal. Hint: It's complicated. Eat a healthy diet, hope for a good genetic code for your skin, don't lose weight too fast. That's pretty much how it goes. Don't panic too soon, you probablly won't need surgery. Give it time. Lost of time. Like a year or two before you start to worry.

Extra skin or not, you're going to be healthier and live longer when you lose weight.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And this is why it's bad to lose weight through diet alone

This is traditionally the point at which I'd become frustrated in diets past. And once again, I'm frustrated. I'm at 217. Still. After about a month of being at or near 217. This is what is technically known as a Weight Loss Plateau.

See...I theorized early on in my diet that I should have a diet plan that closely matches my current lifestyle so that I could maintain it for the rest of my life. I made some modest changes to my physical activity. But most of my changes were dietary. I ate fewer calories, ate more vegetables.

Here's the problem with that, though. When you lose weight through reduced calories, you lose muscle --> and when you lose muscle your metabolism slows --> and when your metabolism slows, you need fewer calories to get by.

And when you need fewer calories to get by....suddenly you find that a reduced calorie diet isn't causing weight loss anymore. Oops.

Here's what the Mayo Clinic has to say:

A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose muscle. You burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight even doing the same activities. Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism.

At this new equilibrium, calories eaten equals calories expended. This means that to lose more weight, you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially may maintain your weight loss, but it won't lead to more weight loss.

So I've been getting up in the morning and taking long walks. Lifting weights in the basement while watching Scrubs on my Laptop via Netflix. Also...a nasty flu has given me a healthy headwind. Though we're back to the muscle loss thing.

The moral of the story: An effective weightloss regimen needs some form of muscle building or muscle maintaining exercise.

Dieatary change alone is going to lead to a hard core plateau as your body constantly slows its metabolism.

Here's some suggestions from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise.

  • Cut more calories. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories — provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from feeling hungry all of the time, which increases your risk of overeating. In addition, this reduced calorie intake should be sustainable. If not, you'll regain the weight you've lost and more.

  • Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You might also try increasing the intensity of your exercise, if you feel that's possible. Additional exercise will cause you to burn more calories. Consider adding resistance or muscle-building exercises. Increasing your muscle mass will help you burn more calories.

  • Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.

The next challenge is, what type of exercise would I incorporate that I'd be willing to do for the rest of my life?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Saved by the veggies

And once again vegetables save the day.

Today I had the munchies all day. I kept putting food into my mouth. Just some instictual habitual action that seemed almost undead. Reanimated. Something my body was just DOING without my mind's permission.

But I was able to redirect my body from the junk food and the pizza leftovers to things like carrots and celery. I had three, cup sized bowls full of my homemade sauerkraut. I ate more carrots. I made a massive pan of fried vegetables for dinner: cauliflower, broccoli, more carrots, onions and served it with tilapia (200 calories for half a pound). Drank a lot of water.

I kept tabulating my calories as I ate. And I ate. I ate and ate and ate. I ate a mound of vegetables. I ate a half pound of fish. I felt full, and miserable, and regreftul that I was unable to get back on track after hitting a weight loss plateau for a month....

...but when I added up all the calories for the day, it was just a hair over my recommended intake for my ideal weight. And playing some touch football with the kids outside for a bit shaved all that off and put me a bit below my ideal weight calorie requirements.


Running from the munchies

Can't.............. stop.............. eating today. Resistance....futile.

For some reason my body just wants to cram things into its mouth. We have so many leftovers of crap from the birthday party and the easter and the other birthday party.

I've really blown through the calories today. 1400 calories and it's only 2:41. Holy smokes. I'm to the point of throwing furniture in the way to slow down the munchies chasing after me.

Since I seem to not be able to resist the munchies (I swear, I haven't smoked anything), I'm trying to distract myself from Easter candy to carrots and celery. Thatm seems to be doing the trick.

It's really the tactile sensations of eating I'm after right now anyway I think.

I found an interesting and useful website about "super foods". I really apprecaite the criteria they use to designate things a "super food", specifically that it has to be relatively easy for some schmuck in small town Midwest like myself to get it. You know, things like broccoli, turkey, apples....beans. Stuff like that.

Uh oh...I've been sitting too long! The munchies have found me! Where's my home made sauerkraut? Only saurkraut can save me now!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The TurboTax Workout

Excercise. That seems to be saving me from myself and holding my weight in check. This month I intend to get down to 210. I'm not entirely sure how It got to be the 9th already. I haven't even done all the taxes I need to do. Does that count as exercise? Doing taxes? Seems like it should. I wonder how many calories sitting in front of TurboTax burns. Howsabout if I itemize deductions?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I don't think I'll be getting into juicing

When I have a work deadline I like to put a little documentary on in the background and work late. Like real-real late. I was up until 3:30 AM working and watching some documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

The funny thing about watching a documentary at 3:30 AM is you get kind of susceptable to suggestions. In the case of this flick, I found myself taken with the premise: Fasting and Juicing at the same time is great for you.

I gotta put this all in context, of course. Asyou may know, my diet mostly stalled out in March. I lost about 31 pounds and then all of a sudden the weightloss stopped...I was feeling kinga bummed that I'm likely to miss my March weight goal of 213....

...and then I saw this documentary where the dude lost over 80 pounds in two months. That's way over a pound per day.

So...feeling bummed I was missing my goal and watching this movie at 3:30 AM where a dude lost over a pounds perday, it got me to thinkin' "Yeah! I could DO that! I could start juicing and lose over a pound per day!!!"

Through a roundabout way I eneded up taking my sister's vegetable juicer home, and bought 35 dollars worth of veggies. Crazy pricey stuff veggies..even moreso when you take only the juice and leave the pulp. I blew through about $20 of vegetable and fruit juice in about 5 hours.

That's pretty much when I realized this fad ins't for me. It's's time leaves me miserable and hungry....and it runs counter to my general weightloss mantra "If I'm not willing to stick to my chosen diet for the rest of my's really not gonna help me long term.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Okay, okay. I'll Exercise.


I've started incorporating more exercise into my weight loss journey.

My weightloss stalled out in March. I didn't gain. But I didn't lose. Basically, I ate too much. Though here's the kicker...I didn't really each more than I had been eating a couple months ago.

One ironic weightloss twist is this: the less you weigh the slower your weightloss. And there's a very simple reason for that. In my case, I'm no longer lugging around an extra 33 pounds of fat everywhere I go. As it turns out, carrying 33 extra pounds with you everywhere you go really helps speed up the weight loss.

But now I'm 33 pounds lighter and I need to stay ever more strict about my caloric intake. There's a lot less wiggle room now. UNLESS I exercise. I'm going to continue trying to stay at 2100 calories per day to meet my ideal weight of 180. But with exercise, it's going to give me a little more freedom for if I go over a bit...and it'll pick up the pace of my weight loss to what I'd become accustomed do. Besides, it's probably good for my heart.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Diet Stalled Out in March

My last entry was February 28th. It's been almost a month since my last entry. And interestingly, I also stalled out entirely with my diet.

How did that happen? I think this merits some examination.

I'm happy to report that I haven't gained anything since last month. But I also haven't lost anything. Maybet 2 pounds since the beginning of March. I'm at around 217 pounds. I was really looking forward to getting down to 213 by the end of this month. And that's still doable. But I need to get back on track in a big way to make it there.

So, let's see what's been going on:

1. Stress: Stress for me, and probably for many others, is a real killer of healthy eating. No doubt it's been a stressful couple of months. One of our family pets fell mortally ill and we focused on that for a month and a half, and we said goodbye to her a week and a half ago. Also work...a lot more work coming down the pike...and quite a few changes in the work situations.

2. Beer: Been going out with friends more often and having more beer. Booze blows a massive hole in the diet. The body gives top priority to filtering out the alcohol poison in your bloodstream and leaves the burning of fat for another time...or so goes my understanding of how my body reacts to alcohol. But beer has been another factor in my lack of weightloss.

3. Fantastic weather: The weather has been GREAT for March and that's making hell of my diet. I seems like I'd be getting out and jogging and running and hiking...and I DO! I do all of those things....But most of all, we've been having BBQs and having friends over. And BBQs tend to mean chips and burgers and a pretty carby situation overall.

4. Eating Out: This is my FAVORITE time of year, foodwise. Here in West Michigan during the Lent season we have these things called Fish Frys where you can get a basket of fried perch or something like that for a decent price's fantastic. Fried perch is a weakness of mine. I've been eating more fried stuff. Also...I've been working more so that means we have a little more disposable income, which means a bit more eating out. Bad for the caloric intake.

5. Not eating regular meals: Ironically....because I've been doing all these high calorie things, I've been trying to counteract them by foregoing breakfast in the morning, thinking I can pay my caloric pennance in the morning for my sins of the previous evening. But by noon or mid afternoon I'm very hunger and I start stuffing things into my mouth. What I need to do is get back to eating a healthy breakfast every day.

I think identifying these issues that have stood in my way this month should help me counteract them....and maybe, MAYBE, I can still get to my goal weight by the end of March.

I also need to get back to blogging here every day. That should help keep me honest.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm Down to Overweight!


My goal for the end of February was 220, and today I am 219 pounds, which means that I am now officially OVERWEIGHT instead of Obese. Time to celebrate. But not with a cheesburger.

I will never be Obese again. You heard it here first, folks. Never. Ever. I'm done with it. Been there. Done that. Not as much fun as I had heard.

From now on, I'm going to be overweight or less. Which brings me to my March goal. 213. By the end of March, I intend to be 213 pounds or less.

213 is equally significant for me as 220. 220 was my Body Mass Indes threshhold between Obese and Overweight. 213...the last time I was 213 was in 2003. And I had FALLEN to 213 because I had had my wisdom teeth removed and could only eat a liquid diet for several days.

WHEN I get down to 213 by the end of March, I will weigh less than I have in about a decade. And I am currently a mere six pounds away from 213. SIX POUNDS. I can do this. I can totally lose six pounds by the end of March.

Here I go.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

El Weightloss Photo Update

It's that time again. Time to update my picture and compare with the original pic. I've lost about 30 pounds, now.

Old Picture:

And this is today's picture:

One thing you may notice right off the bat is that the angle of the photo has changed. I no longer have to obscure my jowl and neck and all the jowlish-neckishness that used to go with it. Though there's still much work to be done.

And as promised, a full body pic, fully clothed so as to protect the innocent and the guilty. This one is the first in the series, taken by my 7 year old son. He did a pretty good job. I have quite a bit more work to do on that belly of mine. Belly belly belly. But I'm more than halfway to my goal of 50 pounds of fatlessness.

And that's...the way it is.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Body Mass Index, JUST on the Line Between Obese and Overweight

I'm on the edge. RIGHT on the edge. I'm less than a pound away from being merely overweight. I've lost over 29 pounds since last October and a sight breeze could push me down to my End-Of-February target weight of 220. And then....I shall have a party.

Why did I pick 220?

Cuz I'm six feet tall. And at 220 pounds and at around 24% body fat, my body mass is officially, clinically Overweight rather then Obese. For me, the body mass threshold of obesity is at 220 pounds. You can check out your own body mass index here.

Today my Body Mass Index at around 221 is 30, which puts me JUST at the lower threshold of Obese. At 220, my Body Mass Index will be 29.8 which puts me JUST at the top threshold for Overweight.

This is pretty exciting.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Making and Avoiding Delicious Homemade Bread

Back in late 2008 it occurred to me that I had never made bread in my life. Here I was in my mid 30s and I'd never made the most basic dietary staple of post nomadic civilization. Say what you want about carbs and breads...but bread and grains made civilization possible. And I do enjoy me some civilization, from space travel to Pokemon cards.

I had always heard bread was very hard to make. So I buckled down and actually Read a Reipe all the way through rather than just looking at the list of ingredients. That's very hard for an ADD person like me. You have to realize. Very hard. But I did it. And shortly after, I had bread.

I thought "Damn. That wasn't so hard." And I've been making bread ever since. For just about four years. Below is some bread I made today. And now that I look at the picture you can see other evidence of my Semi-Crazed Survivalist ways (canning jars and starter pots for my heirloom seeds. Don't look at meeee! I'm a freak). My deep dark secret: I am, in fact, preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. I'm also stocking up on old yodeling records in case we see an alien invasion like in Mars Attacks and only yodeling can defeat the invaders.

I still make bread just about every week. But I've cut down on my carbs. It's kind of a pity. I love ripping off a chunk of bread, smearing it with butter or honey or both and eating it. Now I make the bread and the house smells like fresh baked bread and I have to observe extreme restraing and moderation.

Mostly I still make bread out of habit, and beause my family loves it. But I sure do miss it. I still have a little bit now and then. Oddly, it helps aleviate the cravings to watch my children eat the bread. I admit I do get some satisfaction from making food that my children eat and enjoy.

In other news, I expect to meet my February goal of 220 some time next week. And I just noticed my reasting heartbeat is down in the 60 beats per minute range now, rather than my usual high 70s low 80s Beats Per Minute. That's probably a Really Good Thing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Magical Thinking and Weightloss.

Magical Thinking: The feeling that thoughts or actions have the ability to cause actions or effects which would defy the normal laws of cause and effect.

Well, I'm back to losing weight again. It's uncanny. When I actually burn more calories than I eat, I lose weight just like that. Just like THAT. A little exercise. Sane portions of food and the weight just comes off.

For the first ten days of the month, though, my schedule was interrupted and I ate out a lot and ate too much when I did eat and my weight stayed static the whole time.

I think I actually lapsed into some Magical Thinking during that time. I'd think "Well...yeah...I MAY have eaten a lot, BUT...." and then I'd throw in some mythical reason why I should still be losing weight. Like I walked up the stairs once (you know, exercise) or I had to run a short distance to stop my son from heading into the parking lot...or worse, I'd reason that the magical powers of capcaisin might actually make up the difference in Putting Too Many Things in my Mouth.

Magical thinking.

I think there tends to be a lot more of that going on in my head than I care to admit. My mind, it tries to trick me. It's all like "Mmm...hey...hey, you. Check out the fried chicken. You know, that fried chicken is mostly fat and meat. It's PRACTICALLY low carb except for that tiny bit of breading. TINY. It's like having a slice of toast with ham and eggs. Come on now. Just do it...DO it..JUST DO IT you FOOL! Eat the CHICKEN!!!!"

There's tons of rationalization going on up there. Tons of magical thinking.
The thought that somehow, some way I can do an end run around the Laws of Physics so that I can have the result I want, but still engage in the same behaviors that have worked against the result I want.

I don't think the mind is terribly happy about losing weight. I think it works against millions of years of evolution. So the brain is going to create as many alternate realities as possible to make it seem like a really good idea to stay fat. Not just a good idea, but a GREAT idea.

Even as I write this my brain is saying "Oh....remember those little buttery cardamonm cookies your friend Karen makes? Those are so good. They're SO GOOD aren't they? And SO SMALL! SO SO small."

Stupid brain.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

4:30 AM. Couldn't' Sleep. Did some push ups. Felt Relaxed. Slept.


This morning I got up at 4:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. Normally I would have spent that time blogging and wasting time on Facebook, but instead I did some push ups. I went into my "Weight Room" by which I mean the "Basement" next to the "Furnace" and I lifed some of the weights I got for Christmas several years ago.

After the pushups and the weights, I felt great! I felt wonderful. I felt relaxed. I fell asleep easily and slept great for the next four hours until my sweet little boys started climbing on me.

You'd think that since lifting weights makes me feel so good and since I have them at my disposal I'd be using them all the time, right?'d think wrong. I have traditionally only used them only a few times per year. I moved them upstairs last year thinking the problem was that they were in the basement...I used them even LESS...AND I had to get all nervous because my kids were climbing on and around large chunks of steel (**crack** WAAAAAHHHH...**911**).

So I eventually moved them back into the basement.

The problem wasn't one of location. It was just a problem of using the damn things. I've been getting down into the basement at least once a week now. I'm going to try to step that up to three times per week, in addition to my usual diet.

I haven't been able to breat 224 all month, and that's my own damn fault. I've come too far to give up, now. All I need to do is lose 5 more pounds and I have my weight goal for February. That's still well within the realm of possibility.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Two Week Odyssey of Stress and Restaurant Food a couple weeks ago my parents went to Florida for two weeks to visit family who are having health issues, and my wife went out of town for a week to a vendor show for her store. The confluence of these events left me alone with my two boys for a week, and without much in the way of child care during my daily work schledule for two weeks.....

...hence my long term blogging absence, by the way.

While the lady was gone, I got it in my mind that a good way to keep my boys from missing their mother and grandparents was to live it up in the evenings which usually meant going out to eat in the evenings: hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza....whatever food suited them. And let me tell you...such a lifestyle is NOT diet friendly. I'm lucky I made it out of the past two weeks in a state of stasis. I did not lose weight. On the bright side...I also did not GAIN weight.

I think there are three morals of the story:

1. Eating out is not diet friendly. Ya gotta really know what you're eating. Even the salads aren't safe.

2. Fish is amazingly low calorie compared to beef. I think what saved me is my love of lake perch. Even FRIED lake perch is better than ground beef in a patty on a bun. I'm a huuge Lake Perch fiend and if it's on the menu, like it is in most local West Michigan restaurants...if it's on the menu, it's as good as ordered and in my mouth. I love fried lake perch.


3. Stress and a change in routine is also terrible for the diet. A person really has to look out for that. When you're stressed your will power is severely compromised. There's like a gagillion research findings to support this. Avoid stress.

So that's what I learned earlier this month.

Now if I can just lose 6 more pounds I'll weigh less than I have in over five years.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting Sucked Back into the Fatness Vortex

Hmmm.....I had a good week of weight loss. After a long period of very slow progress, all of a sudden the weight came off. BOOM. Like in a week. Boom.

Now, it's back to a crawl again. I've been about 224 pounds for most of a week. Maybe these peaks and valleys are just something I need to get used do.

Or...or maybe I'm a sleep eater. Or maybe my body pulls some alien abduction mojo on me. It blanks out my mind and takes control while I stuff random things into my mouth, then clears all memory. I guess it didn't clear my memory yesterday. Yesterday I definitely jumped into a pizza and kettle chips with abandon. And beer. Don't forget the beer. That didn't add up well at the end of the day. Set myself back maybe 900 calories, which is almost 1/3 of a pound of fat.

At times I think "Wow! this weightloss stuff is EASY!" And at other times it seems like I'll never really change my dietary habits long-term.

As something special I took the kids down to Crazy Bounce. It's these massive, 30 foot tall inflatable bounce structures. AWESOME. Heh... I ran around on 'em too to burn off the energy. Anyway, there was one thing where you attached a bunjie cord around your waist and ran as far and as fast as you could.....but eventually you couldn't pull the cord anymore and it would yank you back hard. You'd go flying back into a massive inflatable wall. Whee!

That's what dieting feels like at times. Like you're gonna get sucked back into the vortex of fatness. Like you can feel your will to make your goals fading.

So far it's helped a lot to talk about this stuff. If you're in the same dietary fix...I highly recommend opening a twitter account and finding other dieters there. Or blogging. Or finding some other diet community. Even Facebook. Folks are generally very supportive. Talk about the challenge honestly...maybe you can talk yourself through the hard parts, and with words of encouragement from supportive folks.

But we trudge on, eh? Moving forward.

This is gonna be a good month. This month I can set my new weightloss goal. I'm GOING TO be below 220 by the end of this month. That's a big landmark for me. I've been 220 for years. I'm around 224 to 225 now.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

AVAST! My old nemesis...water weight! Curse you for ruining my weightloss goals!

Well, here we are. February 1st. And I'm sad, but not TOO sad, to say that I did not reach my 10 pound weight loss goal for January. I did, however, lose 9 pounds. And that's fantastic.

I started January at 233 pounds and ended January at 224 pounds. For whatever reason, though, that very last 2/3 of a pound I needed to shed in the last few days just wouldn't go away no matter my calorie deficit or the exercise. From a very simple standpoint of 3500 calories being 1 pound of fat, I should have lost at leat a pound over ht past few days. But I didn't. In fact, my weight went a little bit up or stayed the same from day to day. Frustrating...which leads me to my weighloss topic du jour:

That freain' water weight, again, and inherant problem of weighing yourself every single day.

As it turns out, we're not just looking at a simple equation of fat loss = weight loss. Alas, we have so much other Stuff in our bodies that happens to have its own weight. The biggest one, of course, is water. 1 pint of water up of water is 1 pound, and you can easily down a pint of water. Just two cups. Cup of coffee from McDonalds, BAM... about 1 pound.

And if you've had more salt than usual, your body is going to hold onto that water. Another thing that holds onto the water...glycogen. There are two basic types of energy storage in your body: fat and glycogen. The glycogen is your body's rapid response energy boost. It's the first energy store your body taps when you're running low on energy. And holy smokes does it hold onto the water. So your day to day glycogen stores are going to fluctuate the amount of water your body is holding.

So, basically...just as part of the body's normal routine of, like,'s going to see weight gain and weight loss from day to day. I just need to remind myself that it's normal and not get disouraged.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Whoa...I totally pigged out. Didn't I? Wait...maybe not.

Yesterday was my son's 4th birthday and I prepared a feast for him with lots of treats. Pancakes in the morning. Bacon. Real maple syrup. Eggs, then Doritos later in the day and tacos and juice boxes and juice and actual Coca Cola which he never ever gets to drink but once or twice a year...

Chocolate cake and ice cream...

...and of course I partook of ALL OF IT. Plus some wine in the evening. I felt like a real glutton. Like I had stuffed myself. Once again I was excusing myself for having a day of celebration with more calories than I should have had.

But when I sat down and tabulated all the foods and calories I had eaten for the was merely 100 calories over my daily allotment to maintain my current weight. And probably turned out to be a calorie deficit if I add in the running around and house cleaning and child wrangling we did during the birthday party.

I think the point here is...I've been trying to teach myself what a sane portion is for about 4 months now. Every day I tabulate my calories trying to get myself accustomed to healthy quantities of food. After 4 months, I may actually be learning a thing or two. Neat!

For folks out there trying to shed some pounds, I highly recommend counting calories. I'm not gonna's a pain in the ass. But there's really no other way around it. It's too easy to have a warped sense of what constitutes a Portion.

It's helped me out immensely to teach myself, over time, what is Enough Food without being Too Much. I can't stop counting calories, though. Not for a while. I'm going to try to stick to counting calories for the next year. Every damn day. Even when I've met my target weight. Because I've come too far, now, and I don't want to have to do this again and be fat again.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Time warp..wonder if it's got anything do do with the diet

It's been a weird time warp over here. Suddenly it's four or five days later from last time I've really visted any portion of the blogosphere. I'm wondering if the time warp sensation has anything to do with the weightloss itself.

I've made pretty good headway with my weight over the past week, but man am I currently feeling tired, and my mental capacities seem to be somewhat diminished, particulary focus.

I'm thinking this week I'll look up the effects of weight loss on the brain.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's time to go back in time and tell past you to stick to the diet.

Today I am down 24 pounds since October. So says my new scale, which shall henceforth be known as Desiree, and the scale at the gym, known as Fatz. I can definitely see the weight loss in my face and head area. I can't stop looking at my neck in the mirror. There's some actual detail to it. I can see my adam's apple and some vague shapes of muscles or tendons in my neck as I turn my head side to side. Apparently it was all eclipsed by a layer of fat, or as I like to call it "energy."

Now, of course, the most important part of ANY modern diet plan is to find a time machine, prefereably a telephone booth or police box, and go back in time and tell my past self to stick to his diet or I won't be down 24 pounds today. It was a diet plan pioneered by the most excellent Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan.

I remember the day clearly. October 31st. The kids and I trick or treated with our friends, and when everybody else had their backs turned a steaming red phone booth fell from the sky and I popped out looking all svelte and thin and I said to me "Dude...I am YOU from the FUTURE. And if you just eat right and exercise a little more you'll look like THIS...OH! And REMEMBER! Your phone is under the easy chair at your parents' house. And say Hi to the princesses for me...*wink, wink*"

And then he was gone. Future me.

So that's why I was able to lose 24 pounds with so much resolve. Now I need to go back in time and be that me that says to me "Hey...this was all worth it." It will be most non heinous.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aha! Take Body Fat Measurements With a Grain of Salt

False alarm. Maybe.

My fancy new body fat scale and I are still getting acquainted, apparently. Yesterday evening the scale told me I had a body fat percentage of 34%. That seemed a bit high. This morning it's saying 28%.

After some research I arrived at this conclusion: When using a body fat scale, use it at a standard time of the day, like in the morning.

As it turns out, body fat scales measure your body density, which can change throughout the day depending on if you have food in your tummy, the amount of water you have in your body at the time...poo. Anything in your body.

So, just like a regular scale, what you're really measuring is a trend rather than exact weight. That cheers me up a little bit. 34% seemed like an awfully high body fat percentage. 28% isn't great, but it's better. So I'm somewhere between 28% and 34%, give or take.

The point is, I still need to lose weight.

Here's a page which has some great information about body fat scales and 10 tips for standardizing your body fat measurements.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Got a New Scale: Some Good News, Some Bad News


I've finally done it. I invested in an actual scale, instead of the spring operated one my tiny wife thinks is sufficient. I was tired of the scale telling me radically different weights several different times in the same 5 minutes.

"You're 230 pounds! You're 235 pounds! You're 232 pounds! You're 240 POUNDS?!?!? GAH!! JUST TELL ME what you want me to SAY so you'll STOP STANDING ON ME!!!!"

My new scale is steadfast in its opinion. I am now 227 pounds!

Yay! That's consistent with what the fancypants scale at the gym tells me.

I've lost about 23 pounds so far. And that makes me crazy happy. Not sure if I'll make my 10 pound goal this month. I ended December at 233. I'm down 5 pounds. For sure I could wring a couple more pounds out of myself in the next 8 days.

But my scale had some unfortunate news for me as well. I got one of them there newfangled (in my house, anyway) bodyfat scales and it tells me I'm at 34% body fat. OUCH.

To get down to an average healthy body fat I'll need to lose another 25 pounds to get down to 202 pounds...which I guess is sort of my general goal weight for this year anyway. So what am I crying about?

Way back in 2003 when I weighed 220 pounds I was about 24% body fat, so apparently I've lost some muscle between then and now.

I need to hit the gym. Or get out and move around more. Or go back in time and be 10 years younger.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bundle Up and Move Around

Ice skating is a wonderfully human activity. To go from "WHOOOOAAAHH ooohh's COLD and this ice is SLIPPERY!" to "WOOHOOO! It's COLD! And this ice is SLIPPERY!" is just about as optimistic as a mammal can get. It's cold, it's slippery, we're stuck inside....let's strap some steel to our feet and slip around on the lake for a bit.

That's what we did yesterday, the boys and I. Except it was more of a parking lot than a lake. We rented skates. The bigger boy got into it right away. The smaller boy kept falling on his bottom. Me, I gracefully stumbled around the rink like a massive drunken cupie doll. Good for morale for the boys to see their father as uncertain on the ice as they are....or maybe more uncertain on the ice as they are. At least that's what I told myself.

Anyway, the point is, it was a concerted effort to get out of the house and move around, and was fun. I burned about 500 calories and spent some quality time with my wee boys.

The notion of working out at a gym is great and all. And I highly recommend it...**cough** for myself, as well. But it can be intimidating for some of us who are a bit on the doughy side.

Even in the winter there's stuff going on:

- sledding, which is free if you get creative with the sleds. Or you can get a nice plastic one for under $8.
- ice skating, often for the price of skate rentals - used skates can be found at the local second hand stores if you shop around for a bit.
- trudging through the snow
- ice really more about drinking beer while sitting on the ice than exercise I guess.

Bundle up and get out there. I'm going to try to do the same.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Warning: Your Tolerance for Alcohol Will Drop as You Lose Weight


So, why am I wearing a bag of frozen peas on my head?

It's because I am not a smart man. As it turns out, when you lose weight, you become less tolerant to alcohol.

I went out with some friends last night for some beers and did not have more than my usual Evening Out amount. What I didn't take into account, however, is that there is about 25 to 30 pounds less of me than there used to be, and the beer hit me harder than I expected. Fortunately I hadn't driven there.

I feel awful this morning., if you are losing weight, keep that in mind. Your tolerance for alcohol is going to drop.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Fast, Easy, Decorative and Macho Hot Sauce

As you may know, I've been experimenting with spicy foods as a way to lose weight. It hasn't exactly been a controlled experiment, but so far I'm losing weight and I've come to really enjoy spicy foods. So I can't vouche for spicy foods as a cure for fatness, but I can vouche for its deliciousness with the added benefit of having very few calories.

Lately I've been cooking with hot and spicy vinegar of my own creation. It's very delicious, and it looks pretty, and it's so definitely NOT a GIRLY thing to do. In's quite macho. So.....shut up.

I found an asian market in my town that sells bags of dried Thai peppers for cheap. I've been cleaning out various glass containers after they're empty (in the case of the picture here it's an empty maple syrup container), then I stuff the glass with dried hot peppers and fill it up with pure vinegar. Then I cap it off and put it somewhere on my gun rack. Yeah. **sigh** By which I mean to say, the piano.

Anyway, it's delicious and low calorie and an easy and fast version of hot sauce.

For actual hot sauce I take the same peppers, grind them in very manly coffee grinder, put the powder (DO NOT BRETHE IT) into a small glass container and mix vinegar with it until it's the consistency I want.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dude, Weightloss Seems to be Totally About a Morning Plate of Veggies

Okay...this is worth noting:

If I eat a HUGE PLATE of vegetables in the morning, I'm not terribly hungry for most of the rest of the day. I'm talking a full dinner plate with a mound of fried vegetables for breakfast with a couple of over-easy eggs on it. Huge.

And then, come dinner when I'm finally hungry, I eat just about anything in moderation, and I come in at a healthy caloric intake.

Vegetables are so low calorie but so high volume and filling that it seems to keep me full for most of day.

I had a massive pile o' vegetables with eggs this morning coming in at about 450 calories and I had a very light lunch around 2:00 of 7 tortilla chips and some guacamole and some rice and beans, bringing me to about 750 calories.

At about 6:00, after bringing one of my boys home from daycare I had made him some cookies and we each ate some cookies. I had around 4 cookies, bringing me to about 1100 calories. I had a couple of beers, bringing me to 1400 calories, then I made some home-made pizza and ate three slices bringing me to 1900 calories at 8:00 PM.

And I'm feeling pretty darn stuffed.

Consider that 2100 calories is the intake I need to be 178 pounds instead of 228 pounds and you can see how 1900 calories at 8PM seems prettey impressive to me.

So far as I can tell, the major factor is that HUGE plate of veggies in the morning. It's not like pizza and beer and chocolate chip cookies are terribly low cal. I'm eating them in relative moderation...but still......if not for a low calorie breakfast that keeps me full until after lunch, I could EASILY eat more calories than I need.

Hopefull I can keep this up.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sleep Them There Pounds Right On Off With the Power of Sleep!

One thing I haven't spoken much about is sleep.

A healthy amount of sleep is important for tons of reasons. Blood pressure. Memory. Good skin. Sanity. And of course maintaining a decent weight.

Think about it for a moment. On the most basic level it's pretty simple, the less you're awake the less time you have to cram stuff into your face. When you're awake more, you eat more. When you feel your energy level tubmle bacause you have horrible sleep habits, you're going to eat more food to drive the energy back up. And more likely than not, you're not burning significantly more calories.

One change I've struggled to make is to try to get a healthy amount of sleep every night. This is a huge change I've been making toward living an overall healthier life.

If you have trouble getting to sleep, here's a nice lullaby;

I've always had lousy lousy lousy sleep habits. Always. Not sure why. I, persoanlly, blame a lifetime habit of procrastination. I keep putting it off until it's 3 AM. Oops. Then the kids, or work, or school woke me me up at 7AM. Day after day. Year after year.

I used to take some warped sense in pride in my ability to get little sleep and wander around the world in a half-awake zombified state. Used to.

But one can be fairly sure that if the human body begs and pleads for something naturally Most Every Single Day day, it's most likely for a good reason. Your body needs it. Things like Breathing, Eating, Crapping, Blinking, Getting It On, and of course Sleeping.

Seriously...being proud of ongoing sleep deprivation is tantamount to proving your machismo by going around all day every day minus a pint blood....that you didn't bank, cuz if you DID then you SHOULD be proud that you donated blood....

...okay it's not a perfect analogy, but you get the idea.

The body and brain need sleep.

Now...some folks out there have to work two or three or fifteen jobs and come home to a house of wee little kids who need attention, and dinner, and some mommy/daddy time, and if you're in that situation you've got bigger challenges in the world than not getting enough sleep. Ya do what ya gotta do.

But for the rest of us, if you're like me and you have simply neglected your body and it's basic sleep health for no good reason...ya may want to re-think that. You'll feel more alert, you'll eat less, you'll be a less grumpy person, your memory will improve, your blood pressure will drop. You'll just FEEL better. And you'll probably LIVE LONGER. And you'll lose weight.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Arrrrrr Matey, I Met Me Dietary Spirit Beast

Ahoy Matey!

I've finally come out of the deep fried carb induced coma I got while at Long John Silvers yesterday. The whole meal: 1460 calories. Obscene. And that's WITH a diet beverage: Fried fish, fried shrimp, fried hushpuppies, fried potatoes, and fried Diet Pepsi. All fried. And of course my three year old had the good sense not to eat any of his food, so I ended up eating some of his.

While I was under, I found my spirit animal (a giant newt), breaded and fried on a bed of golden brown fried gluten chunks. He told me of the yin and yang of weight loss.

"The good and the bad are intertwined" he said to me, sucking on a Big Gulp Cola Slushy - "The depravity of unhealthy foods finds its kernel in the **BEEEEEEELCH** and the likewise depravity of pure health can be found in the matchbox Twinkie vendo-man...the one who lives in your peachcloak. **BEEELCH**"

And that's when I awoke, renewed and enlightened.

I'm not the type to question the wisedom of a talking, deep fried giant newt.

After most of two weeks doing quite well at my diet and my weight loss, I indulged in one of my horrible dietary vices...Long John Silvers. And it was great. And then I felt physically miserable for most of the rest of the day and during the evening. And isn't that exactly the sort of reminder folks like me need that shit like that is just plain awful for my body?

Aye, matey.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My New Weight Loss Photo-Update

Today is my birthday, and I'm starting off my own personal new year with a photo-update after losing about 22 pounds.

Old Picture:

New Picture

In retrospect I'm not sure why I've only taken head shots. My FACE hasn't lost 22 pounds. Perhaps I'll take a whole body shot of myself today (CLOTHED...I'll save you guys the horror and do it clothed) and make a comparison to it in a month or two.

Also...I'm not sure why I look so grumpy in my pics. I'm just trying to look normal, which makes me wonder, now, if I always look disgruntled. Geesh.

Also, I normally wear glasses. And apparently I never comb or cut my hair.

Damn. I need to use a mirror more often.

I do clean up well, though. Or at least I THINK I do...... I said, it's my birthday and I'm going to make my three year old take me out to Long John Silvers. Yes! I said Long John Silvers. DEAL wid it homies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Weigh Less Than I Have For Nearly Two Years

Today I weighed in at 229.somethingsomething. But who's counting? Other than me, I guess. The point is, I haven't weighed below 230 pounds for over a year and a half, meaning that my current weight is the least I've weighed in well over a year, and maybe two.

That makes me happy. Ive approached the line of 230 before, but never quite crossed below it. I'd lose resolve, lost interest, some holiday would come along, the summer would come and I'm not sure what the hell I'd do because that's when I was supposed to have been exercising more...

...ah wait. I remember what happened this last year.

I had gone to a gym every day for a couple months out of a resolve to lose weight and I lost quite a bit, almost down to 230. That was last winter. And I told myself, that as soon as the weather was warm and the snow was gone, I was going to become a Running Guy!

"YEAH!" I thought "I'm gonna become one of those RUNNING GUYS!" You know! One of those GUYS you see RUNNING at 6AM downt he street with spandex and special running shoes. I'd become one of THEM. So as soon as the weather warmed up I stopped going to the gym.......................but I never ran. I never became a Running Guy. Never had the shoes. Or the spandex shorts. And I never got up at 5:30AM to get prepared to run.

Never happened. Instead, I slept until my boys woke me up...climbed in bed with me and rolled and rolled and rolled until I got up and made breakfast for the boys. And that was my morning over the summer. I gained quite a bit of weight over the summer. Probably in addition to not exercising enough I ate way too much. Too many grill outs with the friends. Too much summer-afternoon Sangria. make a long story short, today I am about 1 pound less thatn I was after working out daily for most of a month.

So...huzzah. After this point it feels like progress...weighting less than I have for years. Pretty encouraging. Just gotta keep it up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Weight Loss Plan Is Easy! Er...EasiER than a Quadruple Bypass

Chorizo Uptade: I survived the 33 cent per pound chorizo. And it was GOOD.

In other news I've been hankering for sweets, lately. At the moment I'm tiding myself over with a can of Diet Rite but not sure how long I can hold out. I did have a bit of avocado and a massive bowl of leaves. Plus some delicious chorizo.

Losing 50's hard. But I need to get through it. I need to get through it and then maintain, and make sure I never go back again.

And sure, it may be hard...but it's a lot easier than a quadruple bypass, right?

Yeah...YEAH! It's a lot easier than managing diabetes. Sure...yeah! That's how I'll think of it. Sure...sure....ugh...this is hard.

Monday, January 9, 2012


My Lose 10 Pounds in January effort is somewhat on and off. I seem to do well keeping within my calories during the day. Then in the evening I somehow manag to pig out. Last night I slipped up quit a bit and ended with a calorie deficit of just 200 calories instead of the 1250 I need. So I need to double down.

Yet somehow I still made what was probably an unfortunate purchase today.

I bought chorizo sausage from the local meats market, and I'm a bit terrified of was 33 cents per POUND. Cheaper than bologna. Cheaper than hot dogs. Cheaper than a bag of fat and "cracklins" (that's fancy talk for cartilage). 33 cents per pound.

Terrifying. I don't even want to know what's in it, really. So of course I bought two pounds of it. I intend to eat some of it this very evening once the kids are in bed...I don't want to give them nightmares. Pork something....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nothing Warms Your Heart Like a Cage Fight

My father had a small stack of free promo tickets to a Grand Rapids cage fight and he passed them out liberally in the parking lot, and so it came to happen that I had a seven year old companion and his mother, also from Muskegon, sitting next to me and my wife. The boy's father was a cage fighter and it seemed the boy knew everybody in the place: the ring girls, the referees, the fighters. Men dressed in T-shirts with the word MEDIC in red block print gave the boy a high five as they passed by the table. In fact, the boy's father was paired with the boy's uncle in the first match. We could not have asked for a better companion.

Stocky, rosy cheeked little boy with a spiked up mohawk and a front tooth missing. Much like my own son. Surely the tooth fairy had been kind to him.

I joked with him "Wow! Look at that tooth! Looks like you got into fight yourself!" HA HA HA!

He laughed too and nodded, "YEAH! It was on the SCHOOL BUS! My friend and I got into a fight and he KNOCKED my tooth RIGHT OUT!"

"OH! So you DID get into a fight?"

"YEAH! It HURT! I'm not gonna get into a fight with HIM again! HEY! I THINK I see my DAD!!!! SEE! He's over THERE! He's got the....the....YEAH! It HURT like HECK! My TOOTH! It was DANGLING by a tiny piece of SKIN and the DENTIST just PULLED it off and that HHHHUUUURRRRT!!!!"

", are you thinking maybe it wasn't a good idea to fight?"

"I don't know...but not with him! He's huge! HEY LOOK! It's my DAD!"

A huge man strode out into the ring, a gigantic pink mohawk spiked up high, with a bright pink Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon tattooed onto the top of his half shaven head.


I cheered too, clapping for the boy's father. He won. The fight ended extremely fast compared to all others with the father lifting up his brother and squeezing...and the brother "tapping out" to indicate concession. It seemed, more than anything, a display for the boy...the one audience member who mattered in the audience of hundreds. A 5 second fight that involved merely lifting and a Tap Out and cheering from one...just one...very tiny section of the audience. But the section that mattered.

The boy and I cheered together and exchanged a high five.

Retractions, Additions, and I FEEL LIKE CRAP! 10 Pounds in a Month is Hard

Well, I stand corrected on the avocado thing. PikkuManda of Twitter fame tells me that PikkuManda, PikkuManda's self has lost weight AND has consumed an avocado per day, and possibly BECAUSE of it instead of in spite of it. However I still maintain that high volume, low calorie foods are working best for me. And they may work best for you if, like me, you are a frumpy, middle aged man with a dimming metabolism, fading energy, and who has been beaten down by the whips and scorns of time and had all the joie de vivre sapped from the grind of his humdrum, empty existan..........what? To much?

Moving right along.

of True Fitness Fanatic fame offered some counter-mayo-clinic information about Negative-Calorie-Foods. At the end of a diary I wrote a few days ago I added a link to a lame Mayo Clinic blog entry that raised the question of negative calorie foods and then ended the post with a shrug and a "I guess we'll never know" sort of let down answer. INCONCLUSIVE, they said. Well...better than the Mayo Clinic in my opinion is SNOPES, a well respected website that was basically doing the Mythbusters thing Before the Mythbusters. And that's where N8Armstrong got his source from.

Celery, according to the Snopes article, is in fact a negative calorie food. Good enough for me.

Anyway...I'm on Day 4 of my trek to lose 10 pounds by the end of January and I FEEL MISERABLE. To lose 10 pounds I need to have a calorie deficit of 1250 calories per day. I've done that for 3 days so far. But MAN I can barely THINK. It's like my mind is all muddled, and I'm hungry all night long. This probably isn't a good thing. BUT! I'm going to do it. I've gone 3 days, I can go 25 more.

I'm a 230 pound fellow trying to get by on the equivalent of 1500 calories per day to reach my goal - more if I exercise, but same difference. I think. There's still gonna be a 1250 calorie deficit.

I'm avoiding the breads and the carby things, more or less, had bacon this morning and a large pile of veggies again. Before bed I fill that void in my tummy with leaves,

....see, I can't even think. That stuff Popeye eats. I eat that.

Anyway, I've publicly committed myself to this and I'm going to do it.

Why did I publicly commit myself to this? Because right now I'm 230 and if I lose 10 pounds I'll be at 220.

And 220 is a milestone for me. I've been around 220 for most of a decade. Sometimes a flabby 220, sometimes a burly 220...but 220. If I can get down below 220, that will be a long-term accomplishment. If I get below that, all other weight loss will feel like a major improvement in my life, long term.

Another thing. 220 is the point at which I technically cross over from the O word (Obese) to merely the other O word (Overweight). I want to get THERE this month.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Warning: Avocados in Moderation

I'm going to stand up and buck some low carb dietary establishment here:

Avocados are not particularly weight loss friendly.

One standard avocado has just about 300 calories in there. Eating a WHOLE avocado is like doing shots of olive oil - gulp, SLAM, gulp, SLAM, gulp, SLAM. And it's so easy to do, because they taste fantastic. I love avocados as much as the next guy BECAUSE they're like doing shots of olive oil.

But if you're like me and you go down the list of examples of good, low carb foods with healthy fats and you say "oh! Here's one with HEALTHY FATS AND it's a VEGETABLE! I'll balance out the meat! I'm going to eat these ALL THE TIME."

I find I'm having more luck with High Volume, Low Calorie (like carrote, cabbage, cauliflower) foods supplemented with fats than I have had with eating Low Volume, High Calorie foods supplemented with veggies.

If I didn't know avocados were basically a beautiful green fat, I'd never know how energy dense they are.

Moderation, grasshopper.

Photo by Muffet

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

This Month, I Lose 10 Pounds. Here I Go

I'm feeling jaunty today. I'm feeling ambitious. I'm going for losing 10 pounds this month. I'm gonna do it! Gonna get below 225 by the end of January. I've got 28 days.

That's a calorie deficit of 1250 calories per day, 3500 calories per pound times 10 to equal 35,000 calories, divided by 28. Oof. That's a spicy meatball. NO! Wait! No spicy meatballs. Well..if they're low carb then it's probably okay. Anyhoo...

Let's see here...gonna do some calculating...that's.....hold on here...that's...

At 225 pounds I'd be going through 2700 calories per day (225 pounds per 12 calories burned per pound per day for normal body functions). if I eat 2000 calories of food per day that's 700 calories of my calorie deficit right there.

I still need to make up 550 calories per day lost. That's gonna require some....**gulp**...exercise. No two ways around it. Time to pull up the list of calories burned Per Activity chart from the Mayo Clinic. Just about any of these will do it. Maybe not Tai Chi...I'll have to reserve that one for another time. And dish washing...I'd have to do FOUR HOURS or dish washing to make 550 calories according to some other chart. While we do hand wash, I can't say I'm up for a daily 4 hour dish washing sprint.

Hiking. That looks about right for me. Though it's snowing quite a bit, and cold. But it's for the smaller good, right?

Oh hey! Here's a cool article on the Mayo Clinic site: Negative Calorie Foods: Diet Gimick or Weight Loss Aid?

Conclusion...incloclusive. BOOO MAYO CLINIC. BOOOOOOOOO....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clumsy Ode to the New Years Resolution Dieters

I admit that I have a smugness problem. It took me years to admit it to myself, but it's pretty debilitating. The smugness. And I try to suppress it. But it's a deep down smugness. The kind that really only can be resolved by getting a well deserved punch in the face or vicious verbal slap from time to time.

The secret, but punchable smug-du-jour I'm having is because I started my diet in November. So my diet is not technically one of those New Years Resolutions we all have, that so many of us make with a steely resolve but then abondon with frustration or, more often than not, a well earned "screw it" after Hurculean efforts have been spent undoing years or decades of...let's call it "stress". Today I call my fatness "stress" only because I found myself reaching for a bag of Doritos left over from the New Years party whey my kids had their damaging way with our household furniture.

Anyway, because I started my diet in November I have some twisted sense of self satisfaction that I got into the annual weight-loss trend before it was cool....or maybe 10 months after it was cool if we're looking at 2011...that's the problem with circular years, really.

I never said my smugness made sense.

I oughtn't feel terribly smug, though, because I did, in fact, have a 2011 resolution to lose weight. I just gave up on it after trying like hell. It's frustrating. It really is. It's so hard. And it commands pretty much a daily focus. Who on earth can sustain such a thing? There's work to be done. House to be cleaned. Family matters to attend to..births, deaths, sicknesses, Lions games and a luke warm Redwings season. It's hard to keep up that level of commitment to something that seems to come so slowly.

The one meaningful thing some random dude said to me during my short period at the gym was this "It's a marathon, isn't it? Not a sprint."

I didn't give the statement much thought at the time. Just sort of two fellows sharing a nod and a smile and a pithy comment in passing.

But it really is important to think of it in terms of that. We none of us got fat overnight. We're not going to lose our fat overnight. We're really in this for the long haul. It's a permanent life change.


Daunting for me to think about it like that. But I suppose it would follow that if I'm taking on a dietary practice that I don't think I can sustain long term...maybe I should find one that I can. Paleo, Low Carb, Atkins, Grapefruit and Pomegranite, All Fruit, ultralowcalroie, South Beach diets are great and all. Unless you just can't eat like that forever.

Cuz that's kind of what this is, isn't it? It's something we gotta maintain forever...and if you're not that into coconut milk, maybe it shouldn't be the keystone of your diet plan.

One thing, though, that make sense is the conditioning the body to eat smaller portions. Heck..that's just gonna be a fact no matter what. And theoretically...THEORETICALLY...if I'm smaller my body will need, and hopefully ask for, less food anyway.

I do wish all new dieters the best of luck. Good god, I wish you the best of luck. I'm pretty much right there with ya. It's hard as hell and we gotta stand by each other.

Image from Ravensmagiclantern via Flickr Creative Commons

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fatlessness-Treking Across the Universe

Stardate: 1.1.2012 -- I have entered this land through...what appears to have been a...dimension of...strange life forms: Matador brand corn chips, O-Kee-Doke Cheesie Popcorn, and... beer.

They sapped the very strength from me making me...helpless to their...powers. And since the...Prime Directive forbade me to make contact with these primative life forms or...introduce them to our technology I...had to eat order to...escape.

I seem to have come through the...vortex however feeling...somehow renewed. As though...I had a new beginning. The last week and a half merely a...bump in the road mission. To seek out...fatlessness and a greater state of...heatlh