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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another week has gone by. Its amazing how time seems to move faster around the holiday season. Ah, the stress of it all, lol.

Nothing much has changed. I weighed in at 179 this morning and my clothes are still tight. I dont want to fall into the same trap i did when i initially lost the weight. I was so focused on what the scale said..........I wasn't noticing how horrible i looked.
When i first lost the weight people would ask me if i was "okay". If i was sick or had some sort of condition that would result in the weight loss. I thought they were crazy. Recently i saw a picture of myself about a year or so ago. I looked like a skeleton with hair! My face was drawn, skin was hanging off my bones. My body had the shape of a pear.
The bicycling got rid of all that. But now that im not biking, my muscle mass is dropping. The treadmill is boring, the nordic track skier is a great workout but its brutal. Getting on it is a chore. I havent developed the discipline necessary to just do it.
At least i started wight light dumbells this morning. Trying to ease into ceveloping a habit of doing something each morning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ok, this is frustrating!

I stopped bicycling to work about a month or so ago because its too cold in the mornings. Now my pants are getting pretty tight around the waist and my shirts have a little less room in them. The frustrating part is im still basically the same weight. Whats happened is Ive lost the muscle mass in my legs and have replaced it with fat around my gut! The treadmill isnt cutting it as far as the exercise i would get by biking. I refuse to put on a larger pair of pants. Wearing the tight ones are a reminder to me that things arent going so well at this point in time and not to give up on my new habits.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

The day has finally arrived! A day where everyone is expected to eat until theyre busting at the seams. Sitting down at a table full of so many different side dishes.......its hard not to taste a little of each. Leaving you with a pretty big pile on the plate.
I almost started my disaster about 10 minutes ago. I was having my morning coffee and thought since it was going to be a bad day food wise, i might as well dive in with both feet. There was a chocolate bundt cake on the counter in my home. I cut a small piece and was about to take a bite for breakfast. So i sliced a piece, put the rest of the cake away and put the knife in the sink.
I was about to bite into it when i froze and thought to myself........Do i really want this now?........I mean its nutritionally empty. It is chocolate and its early. I KNOW im going to feel horrible after i eat. So i brought it up to my mouth.....took a deep breath through my nose. Smelled the chocolate and then promptly tossed it in the garbage. Im not a fan of wasting food. Its just my personal testing i do to myself from time to time. To stop the automatic, thoughtless way of eating. I then opened the cabinet and took a handfull of cereal. No, it wasnt chocolate cereal, it was blueberry shreaded wheat.

Again, a happy and healthy to everyone......

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How I lost it.

A few people had asked me via email how i lost the weight. It was Jenny Craig...... but the second time around. The first time i lost with them was around 7 years ago.
Now my overall thinking about eating has changed. Theres no more "waiting" for the diet to be over. Now the word "diet" to me means what type of foods i eat on a regular basis. It used to mean something i would do on a temporary basis.
Yes i do cheat at times. But i put the brakes on as soon as i start feeling ucomfortable in my clothes. The way things used to work was like this.
I would lose the weight. Then after a short while i would start slipping back into my old habits. I would watch the weight slowly start coming back. Then theres a point where i was out of control. Falling in an uncontrolled spiral. Knowing what was happening but unable to stop.
I know the problems people who battle with their weight have. I was there. A constant reminder to me is the little love handles i have. It was alot worse when i first lost it. When i used to do pushups i could see my belly flab doing its own pushup. Yes it was disturbing to me. But since then i have firmed up. But the little handles i have at my sides will never go away. When i put on my jeans and look in the mirror, they're my constant reminder of where i was and where i will never return.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Controlling snack attacks

When I'm stressed sometimes i tend to eat the wrong foods. My favorite mood enhancers(foods) are chocolate, and i also like peanut butter on a ritz cracker with a little jelly. I don't deprive myself this quick fix at times because i am human. I'm not perfect. What i do know is that if i don't allow myself what i crave ill be miserable. Ill eat other "healthy" foods to satisfy me but it wont help. Ill still wind up eating what i crave. So bottom line is i eat what i crave PLUS regular food.
To satisfy my chocolate crave......................My favorite candy bar is a Milky Way. What I do is i take a bar and cut it into 5 or 6 pieces. Then put them in the back of the freezer. Where i cant see them but i know there there. Occasionally ill stick one in my mouth. The secret is not chewing for as long as possible.
For my other fix ill take usually 3 ritz crackers. Put peanut butter and jelly on them and then eat them. The secret is not to eat them until I'm finished making all three and putting away the peanut butter, putting away the jelly and putting the utensils in the sink. I don't drink anything with it. We all know the peanut butter taste will last a while. That's what works for me.

It would be so easy to just make cracker after cracker. Not stopping before you realize you've eaten half the sleeve and a good amount of peanut butter. Granted peanut butter is pretty good nutritionally but its still way high in fat. A little is fine.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I always find it easier to maintain my good eating habits while I'm at work as opposed to being home. Face it, when most of us get bored..................we eat.
At work I'm pretty busy and time has a way of passing without me "thinking" about not eating, lol.
Besides i bring all my food with me for the day so its kinda hard not to stick to it. As I said before my daily salad has become habit once again. This morning's breakfast was a Quaker Oatmeal to go cinnamon is my fav flavor. It tastes pretty sweet. I also have grapes, an apple, yogurt and some kiwi. That will be more than enough to take me through until i go home.
I also noticed I've cut back on my water intake. Don't know why but ill have to make sure to increase that a little.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Today was a good day.

Things went well today.
Woke up and had an English Muffin with some scrambled egg whites and a banana. Lets not forget the coffee.
Lunch was a slice of pizza and an apple.
Dinner was two slices of whole wheat bread, 4 slices of roast beef and a little gravy to make an open faced sandwich. Sides were green beans and a salad.
During the day I had 3 additional fruits and a yogurt. Mid-day i was hungry so i made one of those Birds-eye broccoli packages and added some low fat Italian dressing for flavor.
For a dessert i had 4 Chips Ahoy cookies.

The morning also included 20 minutes on my treadmill. I have a Landice. Yeah, its expensive but its nice. I was impressed that it went 12 MPH and had auto incline. Well needless to say 12 MPH by car is SLOW..................Me trying to do it on a treadmill almost put me in the emergency room, lol.
So the program i chose was one that simulated hills and did a top speed of 4.5 MPH. It was like a brisk walk...........which i found ideal. You don't have to run like a gazelle to keep in shape. I read somewhere that if you cant hold a conversation while your exercising, your pushing yourself too hard. Moderate exercise is fine. The trick is to do it at least 3 times a week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A step back in the right direction.

Having kids at home means having ice cream and snacks around. When i get home from shopping they usually only last 3 or 4 days before they are gone. A couple of weeks ago i bought a half gallon of Cherry Chocolate Chunk ice cream. It looked good and thought the kids would love it. Turns out there is only one person who did................and that was me, lol.
I usually satisfy my crave for ice cream like this. I take a banana, slice it up and put it in a bowl. Then put a spoonful of ice cream on top and mix it all up. That gives me the taste of the ice cream and the filling of a banana. Its no where near as damaging as a whole bowl of ice cream alone.
Well yesterday I was out of bananas and i decided to have a bowl of the ice cream. was good. Then came today and again no bananas. But i still had the craving for ice cream. Seeing that i could easily start this into a bad habit there was only one thing to do. I took out the ice cream. Took out a spoon full and tossed the rest in the garbage. Yes, there was slightly less than half a container but if i didn't toss it............I would have probably finished it by Sunday.
It was probably the best thing i did today.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I thought this was pretty funny.

If it were only this easy, lol.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What a difference exercise makes!

I had stopped bicycling a couple of weeks ago because of the weather and I have put on a couple of pounds. I had increased my eating habits because with the biking I was burning them off. I figured I was burning around 3000 calories weekly. Now that the bike probably wont see another commuting trip until the spring…….i have to cut down on the my calories in. My scale says im starting to break the upper limit of my acceptable range (my range is 178 to 182) Which is confirmed by my clothes fitting a little tighter. Since I threw away all my size 36 jeans and have no intentions of buying them again..... there's only one option…………Don’t gain the weight back!!!
The occasional walk to the bank isn't cutting it. I need something on a regular basis. I'm not one to go to the gym. So the first line of defense is to cut the “calories in” part. I weight myself often and I fluctuate between a couple of pounds during the week. I use the scale as a constant reminder of my weight. I use the way my clothes fit me as my true gauge. It’s such an often occurrence where one day I would put on my pants and notice they were “looser” than last week. So I would run to the scale and my happiness would turn to frustration when it showed me heavier! It would also happen the other way around. The following week I would weight myself and see I lost a couple of pounds…..then run to the closet and find my clothes fit tighter than ever, lol. So now I rely on how my clothes fit as the true gauge.
Anyways I'm finding it difficult to get back on track. I had developed “bad” habits . The kids Halloween candy is finally gone. I'm back to actually writing down what I eat. You would be surprised how when you write things down you think twice about sticking it in your mouth. At the end of the day I review what I ate.
My daily salad is making a come back. Along with the little lunch bags of sliced red pepper( my favorite healthy snack), carrots and celery. I get the “laughs” from people at work but this is what I have to do to get back on track. I am NOT going to gain back my weight!

Monday, November 10, 2008

But the holiday's are coming up.

What better excuse to over eat other than the “holidays.” After all we have Thanksgiving and Christmas(or whatever holiday you happen to observe).
When we actually think about it what are we talking about. Maybe a total of 5 or 6 days during the season that we will be with company? But yet we still view it as a reason for taking a vacation from sensible eating. Oh to feel that satisfaction of eating. The happiness it brings. Then when the dust settles, your wondering “why did I just do that”? Guilt starts to settle in. But oddly enough that wont stop us from doing it again tomorrow, or the day after that. Until the Holidays are past. Then we can get “back on the wagon” and start the “diet” again.
But wait a minute………..Did we forget about what we’ve accomplished the whole year? The struggle in losing the weight in the first place? Knowing that after we eat the crap we will get that feeling of failure and defeat. Sometimes i do still stumble……..i can’t understand why.

Time to put on the brakes again.

The bicycling season is coming to a very quick end. When the temperature drops below 45 in the morning……….my toes get too numb too soon into the ride, lol. So now some adjustments have to be made. I was allowing myself the luxury of eating more in order to fuel my rides. Although mostly good foods such as nuts and other proteins(okay, okay……..some cookies and stuff too)…..but it still comes down to calories in have to equal calories out.

Before my biking habit evolved, I would make a salad every morning to take to work. That along with at least 3 fruits and a yogurt. I also like to take a separate Tupperware with green beans, broccoli or other vegetable for a snack. I put a little fat free Italian salad dressing on if for flavor. Also to satisfy myself when i need to have that “crunch” factor in my diet i put a serving of Quaker Rice Cakes in a Ziploc bag. Notice i don’t just take the whole bag to work………………..We all know what would probably happen if i did. The above food list is in addition to my breakfast and lunch. Breakfast i usually wait until I’m at work an hour before i eat. Now breakfast can be cereal(also in a zip lock bag) along with a small container of 1% milk. Lunch is a frozen dinner type. It used to always be a Jenny Craig meal but honestly they have gotten expensive over the last couple of years. Even after factoring in my discount for making my goal. So its usually a trip to PathMark, Target or other market to pick up whatever frozen dinners are on sale. I usually buy at least 10 when the price is right. Please note that the cheapest are usually NOT the best. I usually stick with Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice or Smart Ones…………….listed in order of my liking. The beef dinners usually have a salty taste…… go with the high sodium listing on the label. So i usually stick with the chicken based entrees. I once had a friend comment on my Jenny Craig meal at work. It was a turkey, mashed potato and green bean meal………….It was one of my favorites at the time. He commented on how good it smelled and asked how much it cost. I told him it cost around 4 dollars. He laughed at me and said………..”$4 for that little bit of food?” He then proceeded to open the freezer and pull out two dinners. I cant remember if they were Swanson or Banquet but they were BIG and full of potatoes, fried chicken and gravy. He said ”I paid less than 4 dollars for both of these combined.” The calorie content of his “lunch” was more than my total daily intake. Let me mention that he weighed in at about 350 lbs.

In his eyes i was the fool. Although i never weighed anywhere near what he did. Five years ago my thoughts on food probably weren’t far off of his. The more food you get the better. I guess its like being a member of the “Happy Plate Club”. Meaning you always eat whats in front of you no matter how full you might be. I guess its a “get your money’s worth” way of thinking.

I have to take up some sort of exercising for the colder months. A friend suggested jogging. I have a treadmill and it makes an excellent clothes rack. I also have a Nordic Track Skier which i have used over the years on and off. I went on the treadmill yesterday and did a 20 minute program. Nothing that took me into a full run but had my top speed at around 4mph. Which is fine when coupled with inclines.
The only problem with using the treadmill is moving all the junk off of it every time i want to use it.

Take a hike!

Guess what i did today…………………

When i got home from work I had to make a trip to the bank to deposit a check. The bank is about 1 1/2 miles away. Yep, you guessed it. I WALKED! Before my new way of thinking about passive exercising i would have certainly taken the car. After all…………Walk? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Only people who don’t own cars have to walk! I have no time to do that. After all i have to hurry back home so i can sit down and watch TV and have a snack.
Not anymore. So i put on my sneakers and took a stroll. Kept about a 4 mph pace. I made the trip, there and back in about 45 minutes.
The Jenny Craig’s rep advice about taking the stairs is good. The part about parking the furthest spot in the lot is a crock. Walking an extra 100 yards at a leisurly pace is hardly going to impact anything. The pace i had while walking wasn’t a break neck one but it was brisk and lively. Again i didnt put on any “power walking garb”. You know the walkman, the water bottle and sweats and head band. I just took a walk. There no need to get into costume to make the walk official. All you need is a pair of sneakers and a destination.

Passive Exercising

I’ve already mentioned that i did the Jenny Craig thing. Let’s face it. Jenny is geared towards women. I’m not a macho guy. But I did feel uncomfortable in the waiting room with all the women. All of them with the look on their face that they’ve done something wrong. The look that they know they’re fighting a battle that probably wont be won for the long run.
I was there just to get my food and get out! I didn’t want to talk about my week. About what made me eat too much. NO, I’m not bloated!…………I’m a guy remember?
I’ve heard it all before. My counselor would give me advice. Just a note…………she was a little………..okay a lot on the hefty side and in the 2+ years Ive gone there she hasn’t lost any weight. She was very nice and i realize that was her job to work in a weight loss facility………it wasn’t her passion.
She would tell me things to do. Like park my car in the furthest spot in a parking lot to induce me to walk a little. Always take the stairs at work. Try to set aside a little time everyday to take a walk in the neighborhood. All good text book advice. But worthless unless your going to make it a lifelong thing.
Soooooooooooo, starting this past July 4th i decided to start taking my bicycle to work. I live 11 miles door to door and it takes me about 50 minutes. I’ll be honest. Weight loss maintenance wasn’t my first goal of biking………..The price of gasoline was. I was pissed at paying $4.57 a gallon for regular. So i started biking 3 days a week. What I’ve found out that its an excellent way for passive exersicing! And as an added kick i loved the weird looks from people when they saw me ride in, lol. Although by now they’re used to it.
I took the bike yesterday. It was 41degrees when i left the house and i think that’s going to be my threshold. As long as its not raining when i wake up and its above 41, then my car keys will stay at home.
One added bonus of biking to work…………….You can’t change your mind after your about 10 minutes into my ride. Its too late to turn back or else I’ll be late. Also by biking in the morning…………I’m assured to bike home. So that’s 50 minutes of cardio 2 times a day…………..3 days a week.
As long as the exercise has a purpose…………………you can view it as passive exersicing!
A couple of times Ive actually lost weight the “proper” way by going to Weight Watcher’s. Then again another time by going to Jenny Craig. I always viewed Weight Watchers as the most successful because i was able to keep the weight off for nearly a year before fully gaining back the 40 lbs.
Then about 4 or 5 years ago something changed. I went to Jenny Craig(a second time) and started again.
Like the last couple of times with the commercial weight loss companies it started pretty easy. The first few weeks are usually very encouraging. Losing 2 or 3 lbs a week. Over the course of a year i was down about 40 lbs. Then hit an area where i stopped losing weight and leveled off for a few months. Then after that i started losing again….but at a slower pace. After a while it became a challenge to see how much weight i could actually lose. What started controlling my life was the number that would come up every week when i weighted in. If i gained i got pissed. If i lost then i felt great. I’m 5′9″ according to the ideal body weight chart, a person with a medium frame my height should weight no more than 163. My elbow measurement puts me on the top edge of medium so i can argue that I’m a large frame. That would boost my “healthy” weight to 176. So that was my goal. After another few months i made it to 175. I started wearing size 34 pants….something that i havent bought since high school.
Lets see, I’ve tried diet pills, diets involving replacing meals with shakes and food bars. I’ve even tried the low carb thing. A few times i reduced my diet to only ingesting 800-1000 calories a day.
I once was mocked by a couple of co-workers by the way my my clothes made me look like a sausage so they challenged me to lose weight. I’m always up for a good challenge so i suggested we make it interesting. I told them i would bet them $50 each that i could lose 30 lbs in 30 days. (I knew i could do it because I’ve done it before, but they didn’t know.)
I suddenly saw a look of worry come over their faces, but since my offer came within earshot of others……..they felt compelled to accept. Of course I gave myself a head start by drinking enough water to drown a fish before they weighed me in, lol. But needless to say after 30 days I came out the victor. That was done by switching to a diet which mainly consisted of canned tuna fish, vegetables, salad and coffee………..plenty of coffee. To push things further along i also tried to start jogging, without too much success i might ad. At the end of the month i was down 35 lbs. It was nice to lose the weight but it was nicer to see the look on their face as they forked over the money, lol.
A couple of times I’ve actually lost weight the “proper” way by going to Weight Watcher’s. Then again another time by going to Jenny Craig. I always viewed Weight Watchers as the most successful because i was able to keep the weight off for nearly a year before fully gaining back the 40 lbs.
I once took my dog to the vet for her check up only to have the vet tell me she is overweight. Granted the dog weighed about 85 lbs and yes, she was about 10 lbs over weight but this ”advice” came from a vet, who while sitting on a chair with his legs spread, was able to touch the seat with his belly button. I guess that advice would carry the same weight(sorry for the pun) as the words from a penniless financial adviser or a divorced marriage councilor.
We all have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done in order to lose weight. The problem lies with actually keeping it off. This calls for a change in thinking and lifestyle. I’m 45 years old and have battled being over weight since i was a kid. Over the years i have lost weight, only to gain it back again, and again and again. Throughout my life i have probably lost weight and gained it back about 8 or 10 times. This starting when i was about 20 years old. So now you know a little about me. I would like to see how many people, like myself are tired of the weight loss cycle. Or maybe you have also had something snap inside you that made your last weight loss a permanent one.
I plan to post to this blog as often as i feel necessary and will answer any comments as soon as possible. I hope you enjoy your visit here and maybe we can all learn a little from each other.
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