Saturday, December 31, 2011

Going Out

Yesterday was so full of activity. I stated out the day with a light egg sandwich (egg, cheese and toast)  and packed a healthy lunch. I have been packing lunch all week to insure my success. For yesterday I had a leftover chicken fajita some fruit, veggies and a cheese stick. It was great lunch I didn't feel deprived although I should have packed some whole wheat crackers so to get in a few more calories. But what I packed held me through the end of the workday just fine.

I am a musician, a pianist, after work on Fridays I play music with Friends downtown. Before I headed out for our set I stopped by McDonald's. I know some of you may think I was insane. When I stepped up to the counter the smell of french fries flooded my senses just about made me fall off the wagon right there. I know that before I started my new "healthy" lifestyle I would wouldn't have thought twice about ordering a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, large french fry, and large soda. With a combined 1497 calories that meal would place me one meal closer to open heart surgery. I thought about ordering that very meal for about 1.5 seconds before I thought better. I ordered a Grilled chicken southwest Salad and a large black coffee at about 400 Cal including the dressing I did just fine and it was enough to hold me though the evenings activities without feeling famished.

For those who love McDonald's here is food for thought in 2004 Morgan Spurlock released a documentary called Super Size Me. As an experiment for the documentary Spurlock consumed only McDonald's food over a 30 day period. Consuming an average of 5000 calories a day Morgan gained 24.5 lbs. During the experiment Spurlocks health suffered badly his cholesterol jumped to 230, he experienced mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and he accumulated fat in the liver. It took Morgan more than 14 months to loose the fat he gained from his experiment. Here's to hoping my monthly weight loss averages are greater than Spurlock if not thats OK as I've said before I'm in this for the long hawl.

Yesterday At about 10 PM I went out again, this time to Subway, I had a 6" turkey breast sub "Jarrod would be proud".  All in all the sub was healthy, so I feel pretty good about what I ate total for the day. My total calorie intake for the day was 1882 with nutrition spread of 36/24/41 fat/protein/carbohydrates. Nutritionally not the best but caloricly still within my limits so I should still be on track to loose for the week. Melody is feeling slightly better today and we are on track to run today and haing out with friends tonight. Here's to a healthy new year.


Friday, December 30, 2011

C25K - W1 Day 2 Running Alone

Last night was full of activity. I do some volunteer work downtown so that occupied my time until just after 6pm. For my dinner I had to stop by the store for tortillas.  Why is Safeway so darned expensive? Their soul sucking prices drive me insane. I feel like I'm handing over a kidney every time I shop there. By the time I started cooking dinner it was about  7. M came over and we had some chicken and rice.  I will be moving over the weekend so after dinner I also made some plans for the move.

The sniffles that my fiance had yesterday did develop into a full blown cold.  So M was not feeling up to running we just sat on the couch talked and enjoyed the evening together it was nice and relaxing. I hope M is feeling better soon I feel so bad for her. She said that she will try to make up a workout on Sunday I pray that she is feeling up to it.

At about 9 after M said goodbye I finally got on my running gear. The weather was not cooperating and as usual it was pouring down rain, again. I headed out the door in the direction of the small school track where I do my runs dodging puddles along the way. After the side stitches of my last run I was really afraid that it might happen again this time. I thought about easing off this time during the running segments to avoid the pain. But when the first run interval hit I decided against taking it easy and hit each run interval strong. I was tired but kept this up all the way through. Yes, the run did kick my but I got a good workout. No side stitches this time so this is progress. I did not expect to see any improvement over the last run. But in my eyes I felt stronger and this is real measurable progress to me. I went home and got out of my wet clothes and soggy sneakers as I don't want to catch a cold.

Food Wise I did OK at 1899 calories, 90 calories over goal my spread was 19/22/59 fat/protein/carbs. Today I enjoyed chicken fajitas with a glass of red wine. I did not know that could be diet food, cool. I started taking Emergen-C last night to hopefully ward off the cold.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm Not That Guy

I've been asked If I was going out for lunch several times already today and a couple of times yesterday. I just need to get some things off my chest.
  • I've just realized that I was that guy in the office that always went out for lunch and and could always be counted on to deliver some high calorie food if you needed some.
  • I've been the funny fat guy, in groups of fit people.
  • I've made lame excuses for sitting on my butt.
  • I've amassed a large collection of shirts and pants to span a wide range of sizes and my ever increasing waist.
  1. I will not be that guy any more. I bring my healthy lunch to work now, and if I go out I will make good choices. This is my temple and I wont feed it junk any longer. 
  2. I may still be funny but I will be fit and will join with you in your active life.
  3. No more excuses, never.. I got here one mouthful, one lazy afternoon at a time. It is mine I own it.
  4. I will not buy one more XXLarge shirt or size 42 pant.  The rescue me clothes will be out the door no safety net for "if" I fall off the wagon.

Soup's On!

Those who know me know I love to cook and the results are usually good. That is part of my problem. Too much good food = too much calories. OK so part of this journey for me will be finding food makeovers and or new recipes that will still fall within a more reasonable calorie range. So I've been trying out some new ideas and some menu makeovers.

M was not feeling well last night, I hope she is not getting a cold from our run. I decided to make soup. Normally I would make something hearty to fight off a cold, beef stew, or perhaps chicken n dumplings etc. Last night I decided I would make over one of my own recipes Won Ton soup. Lo and behold the new skinny recipe was simply delicious and nether M or I  missed the fat. This one may go into regular rotation. Here's the recipe.

Won Ton Soup

Won Tons
1 lb 99% Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast
1 Shallot Minced
2 Tbs Hoisin Sauce
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
2 Chopped Green Onions
1 Tsp Grated Ginger
1/4 Tsp Ground pepper
1 Tsp Corn Starch
1 Tsp Sesame Oil

1 Package Won Ton Wrappers

1 Tsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 C Minced White Onion
1 Shallot Minced
1 Tsp Grated Ginger
1/4 -1/2 C Dry Sherry
8 C Low Sodium Chicken Stock
4 C Water
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 C Julienned Carrot
1/3 C Snow Pea Pods Trimmed
1/4 C Chopped Green Onions

To assemble Won Tons mix all filling ingredients in a small bowl. By small spoonful place a small amount in the center of the Won Ton Wrapper and fold the sides of the wrapper over the won ton forming a dumpling.

For the Soup heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Cook the onion, shallot until softened a few minutes. Add the ginger and cook until fragrant approx 30 seconds.  Pour the sherry into the pot and cook to reduce slightly. Add the chicken stock, water, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil add the dumplings, carrots, and snow pea pods return to simmer (do not boil as the won tons are gentle and will break apart) Simmer for several min until the meat has cooked through. If desired the soup may be thickened with cornstarch. Garnish with green onions Enjoy.

My food intake yesterday was 1851 calories so I was just 42 calories over my goal. My calories spread was 22/25/53 fat/protein/carbs. I am beginning to feel much better about what I am eating. And actually I am eating way more fruits and veggies because of this change so I am starting to already feel better I don't know I just have more energy from all of the real food that I am eating.

BTW What is 42 calories? I looked it up for a laugh 1 cup of spaghetti squash, 1 small packet of raisins, or 6 almonds.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

C25K - Day 1 This is what It feels like to be a runner!

Last night was the first run of my C25K program and let me tell you I was more than nervous. I felt like a little kid in a dentists chair. My fiance M was with me and that helped to calm my nerves a bit.

My fiance and I decided to have dinner (baked fish and brown rice) and watch the second half of the movie Invictus before we ran. We did not get out until eightish so it was completely dark. We both have smart phones so we synced up our apps and off we speed.

Oh did I mention it was raining and windy. I know what some of you may be thinking, yes we ran anyway.   For those who don't live in the Pacific Northwest you may not understand, it rains a lot, a whole lot, 8 or so months out of the year. People here are different they live their life and do whatever they planned on doing in spite of the weather. That said I knew going into this I would probably be running a lot in the rain so I've prepared. No fear I have bought the proper gear. M and I wore our running tights, technical shirts, jackets and hats so we were both still fairly comfortable even in the wind and downpour, rain happens.

For the first few intervals I was fine.  However About 2/3 of the way though the workout I was tired. Why am I so out of shape I thought. O how I wanted to punch that mechanical woman in my ears for saying so cheerily time to run now. By the time I reached the last run interval I had developed a side stitch on my right side but I ran though it best I could and finished with my cool down as planned. Perhaps on Thursday I will ease off just a bit on the running intervals to avoid the stitches.  M's Android got stuck on the same "Foster The People" song and she could not stop to figure it out. It was funny to watch her bounce her head to the same song. She probably had dreams last night of "Pumped up Kicks".  I guess we will work out the kinks over the next few runs.

On the food side yesterday I ate 1,888 calories. I was just a little bit over my goal of 1809 with 24/20/57 fat, protein, carbs. I did spread my eating out better and lo and behold the hunger pains I had yesterday vanihsed. Room for improvement? Yes! But I think I was still doing good yesterday, I feel good and I am proud of my progress so far. Forward motion happens one step at a time.


Records are meant to be broken, but those moments are far and few between. Every adventure offers an opportunity to evolve, explore, and celebrate life. And that is the gift that keeps on giving.  (Jenny Hadfield)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day One

Day one, done, check. I learned several things about myself yesterday. First I have a very skewed view of food. I should be thinking of food as fuel but I have been using food to comfort or cure boredom. Second I'm totally addicted to junk. I could not stop thinking about it all day long. Probably the fact that I am logging every bite is not helping but, the logging part must stay for the time being as a necessary evil on my road to success.

So yesterday I was shooting for 1809 calories total for the day. The actual result from day one was 1807 wow I was off by only 2 calories. I guess I could have had a tic tac to round everything up. I was shooting for 20/20/60 Fat, Protein, Carbohydrates. My Actual was 22/24/54 so I will need adjust a little bit there but overall I think I did pretty good for day one. With a few minor tweaks I think this self made plan is a very doable plan.

One thing I will be changing is is how I spread my calories out over the course of the day. I was fine throughout most of the day no hunger pains. But in the evening I was out of calories but most definitely not out of hunger. So I went to bed hungry but all was still OK I did not give into my cravings.

Truth be told this is not my first time losing weight or running for that matter. In 2008 I successfully lost more than 50 lbs using then a combination of both "Weight Watchers" and a basic running plan. I even ran in several local 5K races. I'm returning to a similar plan because I had been so successful in the past. Why fix what ain't broke? I did it before and I know I can do it again.

So to my eating plan tonight I will be adding my running plan app from Active C25K. C25K stands for "Couch to 5K" funny and clever. The plan for tonight will be a brisk 5-minute warm-up walk, then I will alternate 60 seconds of running, with 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes with a 5 min cool down easy-peasey.
Last night I went into the closet and brushed the cobwebs away from my old running shoes. The  poor Saucony shoes had seen better days and perhaps one too many mud puddles. So my fiance Melody who will be joining me on this adventure and I headed off to the sporting goods store. After trying on several dozen pairs and running around the store like goofballs she settled on a pretty pair of Asics and I settled on some good looking Under Armor Assert shoes The shooes feel good I'll let you all know what I think of them after I've run with them for a while.

Well that should about do it for today. Peace.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Facts

Christmas was great! Although prime rib twice in one day is pretty intense and probably makes me certifiable. Between the food today and over the last couple of weeks of holidays I've gained a few pounds. Actually I am only two pounds from my highest weight ever which was 282 so not much to celebrate. But I am a different person starting now so this has got to stop.

OK that said, loosing weight and getting fit is not rocket science but that does not make it easy. I know that I have a lot of hard work ahead of me to get this accomplished. After looking at many books and spending countless hours trying to figure out this "getting healthy" thing. I think I've figured out the hidden secret to weight loss. It is what many exercise specialists and nutritionists have been preaching for years "Eat Less, Move More".  So my strategy will consist of these two components. A new food plan and an exercise plan, I know genius. See and I did not have to pay anybody to give me analysis or consultation.

Tomorrow I will begin  for better or worse by making changes with my food plan. Initially I plan on reducing my caloric intake to about 1800 cal with percentages 20/20/60  Protein, Fat,Carbohydrates. Initially to accomplish this I will be logging the food  I eat and calculating everything at After I get the hang my new way of eating I will most likely lay off of the journal as it should start to become more natural anyhow. With the reduction of calories this should bring me to about an 8 pound a month weight loss. Some adjustment of calories will probably be necessary to maintain this loss or to slow to this loss if my exercise routine speeds up the loss too rapidly.

For exercise initially I will be doing some running on Tuesday Thursday and Saturday. I found this app for my I phone called C25K from that starts off with walking gradually increasing your running over 9 weeks until you are able to run for 30 min straight (approximately a 5K). This should be fun and hard at the same time as I am currently so out of shape. The thought that I am just 9 weeks away from being able to run for a 1/2 hour is incredible.

Wow I'm Fat Ugh!

So lets look at my numbers before I start as I want to be completely upfront about my starting point.

My current weight is a high 280
My chest is 49"
My waist is 44"
My Hips 47"
My Thigh is 29"
My BMI is 36

A BMI between 30 and 40 is classified as obesity. And The healthy weight range for my height is between 144.1 lbs and 194.7 lbs so I'm 85.3 lbs overweight  and that is just to reach the top of my weight range. With 2 lbs a week weight loss I should start to hit the normal range on 10/18/2012 so I am obviously in this for the long hawl. I'll try and keep you updated in my blog posts on the weight at least weekly and the measurements at least monthly.
Wish me luck I'm diving in.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Last Meals

I recently heard that the state of Texas has decided to stop honoring fancy last meal requests for death row inmates. Why? Well is it is no small comfort knowing that the last meal for convicts is one final pleasure before they go off to meet their maker. I have in some respects felt like a death row inmate over the last 24 hours. Knowing that I will forever be changing the way I live my life in just a couple of days is very intimidating.

Tomorrow being Christmas I've decided that perhaps it would not be wise to begin this change until after this major holiday so I am officially starting on Monday 12/26/2011. Knowing the ultimate day of the end of the old is approaching I find myself enjoying some of the last gasps of my gluttony. These last free meals have gone down with reckless abandon.

Last night I ate at one of my favorite burger joints 5 guys. I know, I know A bacon cheeseburger is one way to go out. But to make it even more "healthy" I paired it with an order of their french fries as well. Men's Health has rated Five Guys' french fries as one of the most unhealthy food items in America and at almost 1,500 calories for a large order I can see why. I don't think I will be eating here very often after Monday as none of their menu items could even remotely pass as healthy food.

Today I went out for chicken fried steak and eggs with my fiance. With tomorrow being Christmas I know that breakfast with bacon and 2, yes 2 separate prime rib dinners will just about clinch this weekend as one of the most unhealthfully delicious gastronomic enterprises I've ever undertaken. Here's to hoping my size 42 jeans will still fit on Monday. That is if I make it to Monday.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Turning Point

Welcome to my own blog. Why does this feel more like a confessional than the beginning of a Journey? OK here goes. I've reached a turning point. It may have taken me a long time to get there but it is a point nonetheless and it is something I can hold onto since I've finally reached it...

Rewind to August, my church does an annual camp out. It's just a time for families to get together and go swimming on the lake play volleyball sit and read a book etc.. Normally I would just loaf around in the lodge and play bored games but something in me clicked this year. It wasn't so much conscious effort as it was a random firing of dormant synapses a gut instinct telling me get up and get moving. Normally I would assume this to be indigestion perhaps bad shrimp, but something inside me said get out and participate.

I exited the lodge rubbing my eyes like Gollum exiting the cave for the first time in years. Hissing at the light I looked around for the first hint of activity to attack "I'll play volleyball" I told my self.  After only about 20 min of that I left exhausted and worn out, it was just too much for my out-of-shape frame.

"Perhaps" methinks, "I am just more suited to water sports" after all walruses are designed for water. Right?  Water skiing doesn't seem to me to be that difficult an activity. It's probably not if you don't weigh near 300 lbs and have upper body strength greater than that of a 15 year old girl. After an hour of being force fed lake water I deiced enough was enough and called it quits. Needless to say that was a fun day.

All things aside camp was fun but something happened this year, something profound. I realized for the first time in my "adult life" that my activities are physically limited by my own addiction to food and the size of my own waistline. I realize this may be a mountain but I am ready to move it. I've spent the last several months pondering what to do about my new found realization and I know that some massive changes to both my diet and exercise routine will be needed if I am to be successful. I am ready to start this journey into better health, fitness, and strength.

Let's just call it my size extra extra large Christmas present to me.
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