Thursday, May 27, 2010
I'm loving my treadmill! I can use it at anytime during the day or night that is convenient. Don't have to drive 10-15 minutes each way to and from the gym. That time is better spent actually on the treadmill. Not only am I using it for true workout time (3.4 - 3.8 mph), I am also using it at a slower pace (1 - 2 mph) while watching tv, making business calls, reading, researching and taking notes. If I had a laptop then I could use that as well. It's been real easy to put a board across the siderails to use as a desk. I have to warn you though - it's much easier to write at 1mph vs 2mph. :o)
Monday, May 24, 2010
We at the house decided to go ahead and buy a treadmill and cancel the gym membership. At the gym that's the only piece of equipment we were using anyway, and the gym had gotten so busy that we found ourselves waiting to use it.
The treadmill was delivered on Friday. It's now set up and has had some use already. And I decided a new challenge was in order since the past 5-7 weeks had been busy, hectic, and somewhat chaotic.
I've decided that I'm going to shoot for 20lbs in 10 weeks. The last day of July I have an event that I'm cohosting. There's no need to lose weight for that, but I just thought it was a nice timeline to coincide with a new challenge.
So - instead of the 1lb minimum each week, it is now 2lbs per week. Very doable. I've got my food journal back out on the kitchen counter and will be using that. And with the treadmill in the house I will hit that at least 5 days per week for a workout. I will also be using it at other times just to burn off a few more calories.
I'll try to post little updates on here more often than I have been. Wish me success.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Within the first few days I had lost my goal of 4lbs minimum for the month. And I thought that it was going to be a great month - maybe realistically 8-10lbs total for the month. Well, that never happened. After the first few days of the month a relative broke their hip. Which meant that we were going to be taking in their adult mentally impaired son and dealing with his very picky, mostly unhealthy, eating habits. The relative is doing fine and living with us for a few days and I am slowly getting back on track, but my meal adjustments have been a challenge to find a good balance for all involved.
I will be going back to a food journal for the month to make sure I get my mind back in the groove. And considering the first few days of the broken hip saga where I put on 5lbs, I still consider this month a success because I still squeeked out my goal. I'm now down to 244.5 (goal was 245) and nearing 30lbs lost since Nov '09. My goal for this month will change slightly: Instead of my normal "4lbs" for a month I want to see 239. And then hopefully say "goodbye" to the 240's forever.
This is an important week. I want to make this week a rededication of the habits and lifestyle I'm been working at achieving. I'm proud of myself for being able to at least maintain during the difficult part of this past month. I was able to meet my goal and maintain. And for that I am proud of myself.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Please do not let this deter you from leaving comments. I welcome all that actually pertain to my blog.
It was a GREAT month for my weight loss. I had set as my goal a minimum of 4 lbs to lose during March. The actual was 8.5 lbs. And yes, I needed to mention the half pound because it put me under 250.......by a hair.
My April goal will be the same - lose a minimum of 4lbs. Yes - I should lose more, but I have to remember that my goal when starting on this journey was to lose an average of at least 1 lb per week. Anything above that is great and a blessing.
I plan on having a great month. I want you to have one as well. Set your goals, set your plan to achieve them, and work your plan.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I've been on 3 hikes these past 3 weekends. A couple of the trails I do regularly, the other was with a old friend I hadn't seen in forever. I've used these hikes (4-5 miles) kind of as a "get-the-winter-rust-off" hikes. I didn't worry about the scenery or stopping to look at any foliage (especially since there wasn't any to speak of yet). One big thing I've noticed this year over last year is that I'm able to get through the hikes quicker and not having to stop and catch my breath after any of the hills. And, I've vowed to up my trail mileage this year to 6-8 miles on most weekends.
I will be going on a trail within the next couple of weeks that I was on last year. It has a hill that kind of kicked my butt. When I was on it last year I told that hill that I would be back - in better shape - and this time I would be the victor.
I still have a long ways to go. However, its these small victories that I use as "mental vitamins" for the journey.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Wendy's fries I do get a craving for from time to time. Yesterday was the first time I had any in over a month. And when I gave myself permission to have one sausage biscuit every week I have actually had only one since then - and that's been a few weeks.
Progress is being made, for sure. However, I know that I will have to always be aware of what I am consuming lest I fall back to my old habits. That is why it is important that I accumulate in my backpack the right tools that will allow me to be successful throughout my COMPLETE journey.
Monday, March 8, 2010
My journal will be basic and will include the good (hiking, walking, yard work, etc) and the bad (how much time did I sit in front of the tv each day). The bad column is like the fat gram column in my food journal. Some intake is fine, while too much can be down right scary when you look at the numbers!
The journal will only contain the activity, and how many minutes. This will fit in nicely with my NEAT goals listed on my goals page. I will keep this journal for a minimum of 3 weeks, but as long as necessary until I know that the awareness of those numbers has become habit.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I started reading a book a few weeks ago titled "Move a Little, Lose a Lot" by James A. Levine, Md, PhD and Selene Yeager. Although I haven't read any more of this book since then I do plan on reading it and start incorporating the principles this month. This book addresses the NEAT* science developed by Dr. Levine that at it's core is by moving more during our day we will burn more calories and therefore be able to maintain a healthier weight. (*NEAT stands for nonexercise activity thermogenesis - or the calories you burn really living). In his studies he mentions that by averaging 135 minutes of movement -any type- each day then we can burn calories and increase our energy.
Now that the weather is getting better, it will be easier to get outside and incorporate more movement. The activities I know I can do, some fun - some not as much fun, are walk in the neighborhood, yard work, mowing, gardening, pulling weeds, hiking to name a few. Also, I can get in my shop for some woodworking since it's not freezing out there.
There are plenty of things inside as well that burn calories. Preparing meals, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, laundry, standing/walking while on the phone, etc.
The point is, we need to look for ways to get off our duff. Even the mere act of standing burns more calories than sitting (not much - but it does).
I recommend purchasing the book and reading it. When reading it you may think "no duh - basic common sense". But his book goes more into the science of it and serves as a good swift kick in the pants for us.
I've added some movement goals to my GOALS page. Join in with me and make this month a new beginning for more movement.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Since I am on the scale usually twice a day I know that typically in the evening I will weigh 2-3 lbs more than in the morning. Using that information, what I have started doing is writing on a post-it note the max weight I want to see on the scale in the evening. That number goes on the mirror where I see it everyday. Once I have dropped another pound or two then I will put up another lower max weight post-it.
What I am trying to achieve is that by the time I reach my goal weight - or health, then my mind will already be trained to a max weight that I am comfortable with. And then, if I go over that I will know that I need to make the changes to get back to my "ideal". I want to get away from the thought that it will be ok to gain another 5-10-20 lbs since I weighed quite a bit more than that at my heaviest.
I've been doing this for about three weeks now and it seems to be working. This might be something that you can also use with whatever tweaks you need to make to it.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
What I have come up with now is a list of foods that have been a main part of my life, but that shouldn't be. Having that list posted in a visible place is always a reminder when I start getting a "craving" for a particular food. I keep mine on the refrigerator. This list will contain what I used to normally eat, the calories, and the fat grams. Looking at that list can be quite a shocker!
Some examples are:
- Wendys Spicy Chicken Combo Meal: 970 calories, 32 fat grams
- Sausage & Biscuits: qty 2, 56 fat grams
- Captain D's 2 piece fish dinner: 1204 calories, 76 fat grams
- KFC Extra Crispy Breast: 510 calories, 33 fat grams (doesn't even include the rest of the meal!)
This list doesn't yet include some things that we usually had for snacks (ie., potato chips), or things that we prepare at home (fried foods, breaded meats), but you should get the idea. And that idea is to scare you straight! :o)This is not to say that you can never have those foods again. It's just keeping the consumption to a minimal frequency.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I just needed some time just to step back for a few days and re-evaluate what has worked, what has not, and where I need to make any adjustments so that I can reach the end of my journey with the minimum of bumps, bruises, and sprained ankles.
Things that I've had to think about before are now becoming second nature. This past week I continued my workouts, and my meals were mostly on the good side. However, I did gain a couple of pounds which I have since worked off again. Since I get on the scale a couple of times a day I was better able to keep the weight in check and get a better read on what might be causing the weight gain. Not all gains are due to the intake of the foods you eat. Some of it is just your body making adjustments. If I had not been on the scale each day, I could have easily gained more weight. The scale holds me accountable.
One thing that I think is working well for me is the 3 meals and 2 snacks each day. The emphasis on the 2 snacks makes it much easier for me to get more fruits and veggies each day. I also seem to do better if I don't eat at least 2 hours before bedtime. So now that it is becoming more of a permament change of behavior I am trying to look at ways to make it easier on those chaotic days where you don't know where you might be at any particular time.
One of the adjustments I need to make is to try to understand and incorporate the balance of proteins, good carbs, and fats. I want to make sure that I'm not only cutting down on the excessive calories and fat grams, but that I am eating foods that will give me the energy I need each day. It seems that I've had some days where I think I have been a little more sluggish than I want to be.
I'm adding a page tentatively titled "Goals". Feel free to take a look at it and make any suggestions. I have already added a page titled "My Backpack" which will contain a list of the tools and items that I have found that I need for my journey.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
This is a great tool to add to your backpack.
Friday, February 19, 2010
We all have what we consider our normal, routine days. Currently I can generally count that during my routine days I will be able to consume my three meals and two snacks. I can also generally count on when I will be able to go to the gym for my workout.
However, what happens when we will be having a day that is NOT routine? Sometimes you will know in advance, and sometimes you won't. This is where it is extremely important to have your Plan B, Plan C, and so on. If you won't be able to have your regular meals what will you do? Out running from place to place and won't be anywhere near your own kitchen for awhile?
Take the time to make up a contigency plan ahead of time. Having this knowledge will save yourself guilt, calories, and extra pounds when the time comes. Think ahead to what restaurants will be in the area. Most chain restaurants have their nutrition charts online. One option is to take food with you. Stop and have yourself a little picnic somewhere with nutritionally balanced, healthy food. Keep a cooler in your vehicle if you need to.
It is important to know ahead of time what you plan to do when you are out of your routine. We can no longer be in the mindset of picking up high calorie, high fat fast food. And it's not just fast food that is the culprit to why we are heavier than we want to be.
And I'm open for suggestions and ideas. The important thing is to be prepared to make the right decision, and not one that you will regret.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today I Will.....
- Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks - all low calorie and low fat
- Keep my food journal - this helps to hold me accountable
- Find opportunities to move more. Even small movements burn calories (ie., fold clothes while watching the Olympics tonight, 30 minutes of cleaning the garage, read while standing up, etc)
- Find 1 new low calorie, low fat recipe to try, and hopefully be able to add it to my rotation
Our journey is one of small steps and daily reminders. Don't get frustrated. If you do, pause and reflect on how far you have already traveled. Then continue on your journey.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We need to keep reminding ourselves that this journey is often accomplished by inches traveled each day, not miles. It is important that we keep moving forward. In an earlier post I mentioned that it took me many years to put on this weight. I cannot expect to take it off within a few months. Could I? Most likely. But I'm sure I wouldn't develop the lifestyle tools to keep the weight off.
While doing this post and checking my navigation, I can confidently say that I am on the right trail. I just needed to remind myself that the knowledge I am gaining will lead to the lifestyle changes I want to make. Patience is being added to my backpack today!
Monday, February 15, 2010
With that changeover, and with reading in Bob Greene's book that we need to watch our fat gram intake, plus needing to have a minimum number of servings of fruit and veggies each day, I decided to start trying to find out more about the vegetarian lifestyle. I don't plan on becoming a total vegetarian, but I thought this would be a good avenue to research for recipes and health information.
We already had a book in the house titled "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Vegetarian". I've been reading through the different health benefits and haven't reached the chapters on how to implement yet. What I've read so far though is that most all of our nutrition needs can be gotten from plant-based foods. Another benefit in just keeping a food journal and checking the labels for nutrition values is that calories and fat grams are minimal. Which means that if you get hungry you don't have to feel guilty about eating a piece of fruit.
For the past couple of weeks I have already been trying to prepare meals that are more plant-based. In the long run this will make it much easier to live in the lifestyle of a thinner, healthier me.
When I started this journey about 2 1/2 months ago, my first goal was to just start exercising and worry about the food changes later. I joined the local gym and vowed to go at least three times per week. Since then I have, for the most part, gone every other day. My work is mostly on the treadmill for 40-45 minutes in zones 7-8.
Once I got in the habit of working out I knew that I would also want to start a change in my eating habits. This is going along very well, with the food journal being a key component. I am now regularly eating about 3 meals and 2 snacks each day with no foods 2-3 hours before I go to bed.
Shortly after I started this journey I reread a book that I've had on my bookshelf for a long time. It is the book by Bob Greene titled "Make the Connection". Yes, this is the one that was co-authored by Oprah. Frankly, I just skipped over what she had to say and mainly concentrated on what Bob Greene wrote. Here are the key points that I have incorporated:
1. Exercise for 20-60 minutes each session. He recommends working out every day. I have worked out every other day (minimum)since the end of November '09. I have worked up to 40-45 minutes.
2. Exercise in the zone at a level 7 or 8. When I work out I do try to keep on eye on my heart rate, but you do get used to what your body is telling you even if the treadmill you are on doesn't seem to have an accurate monitor.
3. Eat a low-fat, balanced diet each day. I have been a fast food and snacks person pretty much all of my life. Hard to change and keep things in moderation, but can be done if you have a true interest in changing. There are a lot of wonderful foods out there that are much better for you!
4. Eat three meals and two snacks a day. Keeps the hunger at bay. Some type of fruit or vegatable for the snacks helps to fulfill your daily serving requirements.
5. Stop eating two to three hours before bedtime. What a help this has been! I was so used to snacking on bad foods while chilling in front of the television in the evenings. And it was just mindless eating - I usually wasn't even hungry.
6. Have at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day. Much easier to do especially if your incorporating them into your snacks.
These tools got me started on my journey and are a vital part of my backpack. I'll have other reflections during this week.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I just recently purchased a book by James A. Levine, M.D., PhD., and coauthered by Selene Yeager titled "Move a Little, Lose a Lot".
The very bare bones of it is about finding ways to incorporate more movement in our daily routine. We spend so much time on our rear ends that we have forgotten how just normal daily activities with movement can help us keep the weight off.
I'll go more into this in the days and weeks ahead as we add this to our backpack on this journey.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I knew that I would have to be making choices regarding my meals for the day. We ended up eating out twice during the day. Once was at a restaurant and the other was at a home after the funeral. Overall I did not do too bad on my choices, but it wasn't easy. At the gathering in the home the church members provided an over-abundance of dishes and desserts. My two big indulgences were a large piece of fried chicken (by habit) and two pieces of pie(by choice). First, let me say that the people who provided the food know how to cook! It was extremely tempting to eat more. Secondly, regarding me eating two pieces of pie - well, since I started making pies a few months ago, I do like to taste other homemade pies and there were plenty to choose from.
On the next day I found it extremely hard to think and act better on my nutritional choices. I was extremely worn out and decided to pop a frozen pizza in the oven for convenience.
We will all have days where it is difficult, if not impossible, to stick to a plan. Especially as we are first starting out and haven't really become familiar yet with the different options available to us. That's ok. We can take each opportunity to learn something new and reflect on what we could have done better. The point is not to beat yourself up over a bad day. Just get back on the trail and continue the journey.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Here's why: If I weigh myself only once a week then it becomes easy to accidently skip first one week, then more and more until it's been two or three months before I get on the scale again. Then I'll realize that I actually gained.
When I get on the scale each morning it is a reminder to me that I need to eat better nutritionally. If I don't get on the scale for awhile my taste buds and cravings might tell me that "you've been good, go ahead and have those sausage biscuits for breakfast and while you're at it, stop by the fast food place while you're out running around today and pick up that fried chicken sandwich and fries". Once I do give in to those cravings, then it becomes MUCH easier to start falling back into my old ways. And then I'm back to where I started - and then some.
When I get on the scale in the evening it is a very quick, cursory check to see how my body reacted to the foods and activity of the day. That way I am already thinking about if I need to try and add some additional movement or activity the next day. For me, it just really helps me to try and understand my body better.
It is important that you don't obsess on the scale and the numbers each day. However, if used properly as a tool then you can get a much better read on how your body reacts to your food and activity. There will be times where your body may be storing up reserves and therefore you might see a gain. Having been on the scale often then you have a better understanding of this for yourself and your own situation.
The scale is a wonderful, essential tool on your journey. Use it as little or as much as is fitting for you, but use it. And understand it.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Keeping the long term outlook also allows me time to make the lifestyle changes I need to make. The biggest change will be my meals. I am so used to high fat, high calorie meals that I am really having to pay attention to what I choose to eat each day. Thus, the food journal. It is already starting to become second nature to mostly eat low fat meals each day. That's not to say I am going to totally cut out those foods that I have eaten pretty much all of my adult life. Now I will just do it in moderation.
Making those small changes now and incorporating them into my daily life takes work. But it is a long, slow, steady process that will get my brain rewired to automatically think of fruit for a snack instead of potato chips. And that will make this journey successful!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The second component that I have started concentrating on is what I eat. At first, when I joined the gym, I did not want to worry about changing the foods I love. I knew that as I started getting into a routine at the gym that I would naturally start looking for ways to limit or change some of those foods that I was eating too much of each week. Although I have already been slowing changing over to meals lower in fat, I have actually begun a food journal this last week. The form I use was printed off of the WebMD website. It allows you to list your servings and the calories. I added another column though for Fat Grams. What I found is I really hate writing down the number 28 for the fat grams in my sausage and biscuit! And that is for one. Last year I would regularly have two on most mornings. For the past 6 or 8 weeks that was the first thing I changed out regarding my breakfast. Now, it's a bowl of oatmeal with a banana. Total fat grams? About 3. I am allowing myself 1 sausage biscuit along with my oatmeal each week. What I have found just using the food journal is that if I am aware of what I am eating then I have no problem with a reasonable amount of calories each day and the fat gram count is in the lower range. What can sabotage it real easy though is TOO MUCH of the foods that we think we love and can't do without.
Now - time for me to print some more forms.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Who am I? Well, I am a southern guy, in my late 40's who enjoys his typically southern foods. Sausage & biscuits, fried foods, meats, and sweet ice tea. I have also found in the past year that I enjoy making a pie from time to time. However, I don't enjoy cooking. I have been overweight more often than not since my mid 20's.
What caused me to start this journey this time (instead of just thinking about it)? Two things: 1) I was helping a friend with a project during a hot summer day and I got winded alot easier than I thought I should have and 2) while on a day hike I came across an elevation climb that just beat the crap out of me. Now my goal is to see an improvement this coming year.
The number on the scale has never bothered me. I always figured we are going to die someday anyway so why not eat the things I enjoy eating. However, there comes a point where you see that the excess weight and lower fitness level does affect some of your everyday activities, or prohibits or limits things that you WANT to do.
So - what does all of this mean? Change. It can be very hard to do, but if you want to reach your goals bad enough then you must be willing to make the sacrifices.
I welcome you to join me on the journey to a better life.