Friday, December 30, 2011

Last Week of 2011

As we were ending last week, I pulled a muscle in my left leg. That painful move has sidelined me from going to the gym this week. Rather than aggravate a sore muscle and turn it into something serious, I have taken this week off from going to the gym.

I have kept to the diet and hop that the results are still positive at the end of the week.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Week 10 Results- Merry Christmas

Hello everyone! I wanted to make a quick update for my weekly results. This week, I was able to go to the gym 5 days and was able to stick with the diet.

I had to cut the gym visits short a few times this past week and ended up pulling a muscle in my leg tryng to get some extra work out on Friday.

Its healing up nicely and I fully expect to get to the gym a few ties this next week.

This week, I am down to 197.2 LBS. This is a loss of almost 2 LBS from last week.

As this is the last Sunday in December, I am please to post that I have hit my End of December goal of 200 LBS as of last week.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This Blog

 The reason I keep this blog is to keep myself accountable for everything I do with this diet and exercise. Keeping a real time log of each weekly weigh in, articles I find interesting and what I am doing to lose this weight gives me the ability to review what worked and what hasn't.

Making this public and updating facebook and twitter with each update allows friends to monitor what I am doing and celebrate my successes with me. My hope is that my story will be an inspiration for those who are also struggling to lose weight. On my 26th birthday, I was in the worst shape of my life. At this point, ten weeks later, I am coming close to being the lowest I have weighed since I was a high school freshman.

This being said, I recently came across an article from Men's Health that said that keeping your diet and fitness routine a secret could help you lose weight by avoiding those all too common 'one piece of cake won't hurt' and 'you have done well all week, you can take a break on Saturday' type of temptations.

My thought is if you don't have the will power to say 'Thanks, but I can't. Maybe next time.' OR if you do have that piece of cake, stay an extra 20 minutes at the gym to make it not matter, a diet might not work for you. . .

Diets are TOUGH. Sticking to a diet where you have to cut out most of your favorite delicious foods is even tougher.

I am glad you all are enjoying the blog. Have a wonderful Christmas and/or Hanukkah! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week 9 Results AND Week 8 correction

So I re-read last week's results and realized that I typed the wrong weight. Last week, the correct weight was 202.0 LBS.

This week was very tough. The holiday season throws around everyone's schedule and getting to the gym is difficult.

I was only able to get to the gym four times this week. Sticking to the diet and getting to the gym has helped me reach my December goal early.

Today, I weighed in at 199.0 lbs at a loss of 3LBS.

With the holidays diets are difficult and getting to the gm may be very tough over this next week.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Motivation

I know that I have mentioned this a few times, but I am getting married in August 2012. I fiancee is a wonderful woman who has been by my side in good times and bad, prosperous and times when I didn't have a job, and no matter how big I was, she has loved me and I her.

In early October, we went out with a few friends and as friends with fancy smart phones will do, they took a picture of us. When I looked at this picture, it was the final straw. I needed to lose weight. Not for myself, but for Ashley. Ashley who has done everything she could to make our wedding wonderful. I know that wedding pictures last lifetimes and I wanted to look back on our wedding photos with pride, not "Oh my God!! Ashley is beautiful and I am a blob in a tux next to her."

I wanted to post the picture that finally got my butt off the couch and into the gym.

My face was rounder than I have ever seen it and a shirt I had just purchased and wore one time prior, no longer fit.

This weekend, we went out and got smart fancy phones of our own. With it, my fiancee took a picture of me. While I still need to lose weight, the 20 + lbs that I have lost is evident.

While not looking directly at the camera, you can see that my face has lost some weight and believe me, clothes are definitely fitting better.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Paying for a Day Off the Diet Or The Gross Post

**Warning** This blog post is going to get a bit personal regarding bathroom habits. While I was trying to avoid this subject, I feel that it may be needed to fully explain the diet and cover both positives and negatives of the routine. This is by far a HUGE negative.

Last week, as you may remember, I only made it the gym 4 times, it looks like this week will have similar results (if not worse), given holiday parties and obligations Sunday, Tuesday and Friday this week. Last week, I also took some time off of the diet, not this week though. Last week, that was my BIG mistake.

I don't know if the food I ordered on Saturday affected me this way because it was breaded, deep fried chicken covered in sugar laden BBQ sauce and I really haven't eaten (besides chicken) much if anything with these qualities in eight weeks OR if there was something wrong with my chicken. No one else who ate with us (including my fiancee) has had these issues, so I expect it to be the former. Fried Chicken no longer agrees with me.

The diet has, over the past Eight Weeks, made my bathroom visits infrequent, but it was nothing I worried about. Since Saturday, I have had the opposite problem. While not worried, it should be noted for anyone who wants to start this routine, that this can happen and has happened to me (for about four days now.)

As I said, its a gross post, but a reality. I don't think I will be posting on this subject again after this.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Benefits of Coffee

If you know me, you will know that I LOVE coffee. I drink tons of coffee. Good news for me and other coffee drinkers out there- coffee has very few calories.

According to this Nutrition Facts site an 8 ounce cup of black coffee (not espresso or decaf) is 2 calories. This means that a 16 ounce coffee (Medium at Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds and a Grande at Starbucks) is only 4 calories. Now, I have seen this fluctuate depending on the type/ brand of coffee, but never have I seen a 16 ounce cup of black coffee over 15 calories.

The issue with coffee is what you add to it. A tablespoon of half and half is 20 calories, the same amount of skim milk is about 5 calories.

I try to add skim milk, sometimes adding half and half instead, but not always.

Also, this week a friend passed on this article about coffee and its health benefits. I thought I would share:

Article on Health Benefits of Coffee

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snack Time

If you are anything like me, you love to snack. I know I sure do! Snacking away has not led to a very healthy lifestyle. Craving some candy or chips or something even worse (cake, brownies, sugar laden soda), can cause my diet to take a 180 straight into gaining weight (and not the good muscle weight I hear so much about)!

In the past, I would eat tons of sugar or salty chips (sugar in the form of carbs) then sit around watch tv and go to bed. No Activity! No calories burned! This is how I was able to balloon to 230 LBS.

The problem here is that I still love to snack. At work, at home, long drives, to get rid of stress (when I am not at the gym), snacking still comes to mind. What is the worst part of it all, is that I am not even hungry, most of the time I do have a desire to snack on something. I learned early on in this diet that I am very bad at stopping myself from snacking. What I can control is how much and on what I am snacking.

Yogurt has become my go to evening / after work our snack. I will cut up a piece of fruit, throw some almonds in there and you have a delicious, crunchy, healthy and low carb snack! If yogurt is not available I will eat a pickle, some almonds or a piece of fruit. Choosing the healthy snack option is definitely the way to go.

Week 8 - Results

This week has been a difficult week for the routine. Sometimes we make lots of plans and getting to the gym or sticking with the diet just doesn't happen.

At the beginning of the week everything was going great! Midway through the week, the scale dropped below 200 lbs for the first time since God knows when, but it didn't stay. While my weight may drop throughout the week, only the Sunday weigh in weight counts. Here is a day-by-day play-by play:

Sunday: stuck with the diet, but did not go to the gym
Monday: Diet and gym like always
Tuesday: Diet and gym like always
Wednesday: diet and gym like always
Thursday: Stuck to the diet, but was not able to go to the gym
Friday: No Gym and two birthdays of friends. see post about it here
Saturday: went to the gym, but no diet

The Results: 200.0 lbs a small loss, but a loss and I will take it.

Have a great week all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9

December 9 was a BIG day. My little brother turned 21. In addition to his birthday celebration- a friend at work also celebrated his birthday Friday at work.

With all of the excitement, I was not able to stick with the diet. Hopefully one day of a few extra carbs won't affect the end results this week.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting Started -- New to Working Out

To say that I am happy with my results after 7 weeks is an understatement. I am thrilled with how much weight I have lost and that I keep losing it.

Here is what I am not doing:
  • I am not starving myself
  • I am not taking any diet drug, diet shake, appetite suppressant
  • I am not 'killing myself' at the gym for 3 hours a day
Here is what I am doing:
  • Diet
    • Limiting the amount of large carb items (20 or more carbs for a apart of a meal) to TWO a day. This included sugar, bread, pasta, cereal, granola, oat meal, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pastries and bananas
    • Portion/ snacking control. Rather than have another mini meal, I will grab a yogurt, piece of cheese, piece of fruit, pickle, or (if under my carb limit) a bowl of oatmeal as an after dinner snack.
    • I should note that I have never been a big breakfast eater. I do snack on Almonds and get many calories from the cream in my 3 cups of morning/ afternoon coffee
  • Exercise
    • My goal is to lose weight, not become John Cena in 6 months (though that would be pretty awesome!)
    • Building up your endurance is the best way to get started. 
      • Start on a treadmill at 2.0 MPH for 15 minutes, then longer and a little faster.
      • I have been losing fat through burning calories. My favorite way to burn calories to do the treadmill at a slow pace and a high incline.
      • I will typically spend 70 minutes (60 minutes PLUS 10 minute cool down) on the treadmill and follow this with 20 minutes on a stationary bike or at weight training machines. 
        • I will keep a slow/ moderately slow pace for the stationary bike OR do various machines at a small weight (30 -70 lbs depending on machine). 
        • On the weight training machines, I will between 50 and 200 reps at the smaller weight and then move to the next machine. I focus on my legs and my back so that I can maintain the endurance of the treadmill without throwing out these important muscles
  • Getting Started
    • It may seem obvious, but these are the steps we took to start this routine:
      • Stop buying carbs. It took us a good week or two to ween off of carbs. Stopping cold turkey (you can definitely eat cold turkey on this diet!) might knock your system through a loop or the cravings might be too much to handle.
      • Get someone to go to the gym with you. Most gyms will give you a couple free passes for friends. Starting off with a friend or family member will help you keep to the routine
      • Set a goal. Having my goal of losing 47 lbs or being at 175lbs by May 1st allowed me to really get a full picture of what I need to accomplish each month to reach these goals.
Good Luck

Monday, December 5, 2011

BMI Update

So, for the fun of it I went back to check my BMI to see where I am on the scale. At 5' 7", my BMI is at 31.7. This says that I am 25 LBS lighter and still obese. I feel lighter, my pants aren't snug and some of my 'large' sized shirts are starting to feel a bit big.

I also wanted to reiterate some of my findings from playing with the BMI Calcualtor:
  • My weightloss goal of 175 LBS is right in the middle of the BMI Index 'Overwieght' category.
  • 159LBS at 5' 7" is the largest weight that is considered 'healthy' for my height.
 I stick my thoughts that BMI is BS.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week 7- Results

I have now completed seven weeks of diet and exercise after 2 weeks of just diet and several years of doing neither.

This week, I went to the gym 5 times and focused on cardio each time. I do incorporate other equipment weights, bikes, elliptical, etc. I make sure that I push myself through 60 minutes of treadmill and 5 minute cool down every time. Spending so much time on the treadmill has shown me the best results, rather than spending 30 minutes on the treadmill and an hour on the bike or going through a dozen weight machines.

This week, I decided to abandon the 8 weeks to run routine to focus on sharp inclines for the full hour.

I am happy to report my results for the week: 202.2 LBS!

This week, I have lost 3 pounds through the cardio heavy focus. One thing I have noticed the past week, probably a result of eating so much on Thanksgiving, is that I have been extra hungry this week. Portion sizing and control are very important and I need to make sure that I get there!

Keeping up a routine like this can be difficult, but the word to highlight is routine. I weigh myself every week at the same time. Yes, I weigh myself several times a week, almost everyday and sometimes a few times a day. I started the routine on a Sunday morning and I continue to weigh myself 'officially' every Sunday morning to bring you these results.

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Exercise VS Stress

Going to the gym about 5 times a week for seven weeks teaches you a few things about yourself. It shows you how can make yourself disciplined enough to spend hours at the gym, rather than on the couch eating. One thing I learned is that going to the gym takes my mind off of stress.

Much better than smoking, over drinking, shopping, and my previous problem, eating; going to the gym relieves most of my day-to-day stress. Focusing on the routine and to a smaller account, the blog has helped keep me motivated to lose the weight.

If you ask anyone that knows me, I stress out over things too much. I mean WAAAYYYYY too MUCH!

I worry about things outside of my control: "What is going on in politics?" "What is happening in the economy?" And I worry too much about things I can barely control: "Are we going over on our Wedding budget?" "How Can I be better at my job?"

Money, job, family concerns all stress me out. In the past I would turn to food (sweets, greasy food, carbs galore) to combat these stresses, and maintaining my sanity.

While never being completely overwhelmed or consumed by stress, I do stress about things both big and small more than I should. I'm still the same 'worry wart' that I was when I was a kid.

What I found out about myself is that exercise is a great stress reliever. Spending an hour on the treadmill and focusing on the workout takes my mind off all the troubles in the world. It is a great feeling to come out of a work out burning 700 calories and all the stress from the day. Burning calories, losing weight and stress all at the same time, sounds pretty good to me.

So I will continue to go out there and hit that treadmill hard so I can shed these 30 last pounds and the everyday stress that bogs us all down!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 6 Results

Sorry for the lack of posts this week everyone.

As I mentioned before, I had two Thanksgivings this week. This means that I get to have twice as much turkey, stuffing and the fixin's!! This also means having to manage with twice as many carbs. I decided well before this festive American Holiday that my diet would have to, let me repeat that HAVE TO go on a shelf a couple of times this week.

This week should be summarized as the good, the bad and the painful.

The bad:
On Thursday then again on Saturday, I overloaded on carbohydrates, both simple and complex. Ranging from mayonnaise and potatoes through bread stuffing to my favorite of favorites, pumpkin pie, the carbs were there en masse! Coupled with these two days of deliciousness, I was unable to go to the gym both of these days.
The painful:
After weeks of dieting and watching what I eat, two days of over eating has caused a painful stomach ache. Though i am layed out at home this morning, plenty of rest should knock this thing out.

In preparation at the gym, I kicked it up a notch this week. I discovered that if you max out the incline on the treadmill, you can burn upwards of 800 calories at the gym.
I start the workout at an incline of 15 at 2.5 miles an hour increasing it up to 3.5 miles an hour over a FIFTEEN minute interval. Then I will go back and forth between 2.5 and 3.5 MPH and decrease the incline 1 full degree every ten minutes.
At 15 minutes, I decrease to 14 degrees
At 25 minutes, I decrease to 13 degrees
At 35 minutes, I decrease to 12 degrees
At 45 minutes, I decrease to 11 degrees
At 55 minutes, I decrease to 10 degrees

Over 5 days of going to the gym this week, I burned between 500 calories and over 1000 between the treadmill and other cardio. This extra hard workout was worth it, but was painful getting started and with a work schedule like mine, very difficult to get through every day.

The good:
Besides the excellent food, of course, which I could go on about for days; the premptive workouts, keeping to the diet on the rest of the week (despite the promise of left overs) and getting more than one night of 8 + hours of sleep, I have positive results this week.

At weigh in this morning, I am at 205.4 pounds which means I lost .4 LBS this week. Not great results for a normal week, but seeing as this is Thanksgiving week, I am more than happy with these results.

Today also marks the last Sunday of November, which means that at 205.4 LBS, I have exceeded my goals for Novmeber! My goal for December 1st is 210 LBS. This also means that I am 5.4 LBS from my Decmeber goal, but with Chrstmas, family, friends and work functions, hitting that 200 LB mark may be the most difficult pat yet.

Overall, I have less than 31 LBS to go! Having maxed out in May of 2011 at 230 LBS and starting the diet in the beginning of October at 222 LBS, I feel much healthier than I have felt in a long time. 17 pounds is about one third of the way there, and I have no idea if the next 17 will be easier or more difficult to lose.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 5 Results

I've been told countless times that I don't look my weight: 'You weigh how much?'; 'I don't see you weighing 230'; 'You just don't look THAT big . . .', etc.

This being said, here is a copy of one of the engagement photos taken some time between the 230 weigh in and the 222 diet start:

As you can see, my fiancee is in shape and my shape was very round.
Even the brand new shirt I bought for the engagement photos was tight. This is a primary example of why I want to lose weight for our wedding. Ashley is stunning and I just know that she will indescribable at our wedding. The photos that will last lifetimes and I want to look my best for her.

Here we are five weeks into the workout and diet and I am happy to report the results from this week, which more than make up for last week's gain.

As of Sunday, November 20, 2011, my weight is at 205.8 LBS. This is almost a loss of five pounds from last week and over 24 LBS from where I was almost a year ago when I weighed 230 LBS.

If I can maintain this weight through my next weigh in and TWO thanksgiving dinners, I will call that a big Win!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holidays- Turkey with carbs, carbs and oh no carby pie!!!

Next week is Thanksgiving, which means a Thursday and Saturday (Saturday is Thanksgiving Day for the fiancee's family) Dinner full of Turkey, sides, desserts and carbs carbs carbs. Looking at the typical Thanksgiving at my mother's we have: Turkey, rolls (Carbs), mashed potatoes or potato salad (carbs), Green Beans, stuffing (carbs), pumpkin pie (carbs), deviled eggs and cranberries. Two days later, I get to do it all again.

In preparation for Thanksgiving, I am going to go to the gym a full five or six days, maybe even on Thanksgiving night.

For Christmas, we have two Christmas Eves and Christmas Day which makes things even more difficult for the diet and going to the gym. Luckily, I have a full week off work between Christmas and New Years. To maintain this routine and reach my goals, I will have to hit the gym as much as possible between now and New Years Day.

I know that I will go over my carb amounts on both Thanksgivings and on Christmas. This should be okay as long as I monitor portions, sugar and keep up the exercise.

Exercise Update

I thought I would update on how exercise and diet are coming along as well as go into my routine this week.

It is important to remember that I am 26 and in relatively good health.

The diet is going well. Eating out and daily lunches make low carb diet difficult. While I have enjoyed salads and yogurt and fruit and veggies, I miss bread and bagels and english muffins and pasta!

This week, I have begun the 8 weeks to run that I spoke about earlier :8 weeks to run
I have also added a 30 minute walk at a steep incline. With combining these two, I have been able to knock of at least 600 calories, 3 of the 4 days I have gone to the gym this week.

I am also switching out the bike, leg and back equipment daily to focus on other trouble areas. One obvious area that I have not tackled is my stomach. While some of the fat has poofed away from this routine, I have not done any ab crunches.

Now I am not one to shy away from tests or challenges, but I just don't know how to use the ab machines at the gym. I do need to start working on this, my most troubled 'trouble area' and will plan to do this in the near future.

Right now I am most concerned with making that number go down and hit my goals. Because I have given myself January to keep the weight off, I will try to work on the ab crunch machine come the New Year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

working up a sweat

Just wanted to make a quick note: I started the 'Run 30 Minutes Straight' in 8 Weeks today. In week 1, you are supposed to walk 6 minutes and jog for 1. Even with doing the treadmill almost every day, I worked up a real sweat today.

Let's get this scale moving back in the right direction.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 4 Results- Complete

This week, I accidentally tested 'natural' exercise versus the gym and the results speak for themselves . . .
With work and other obligations, I was only able to go to the gym twice this week. I did go hiking at a local state park on Saturday and walked around New York City twice. While five days of great activity and mobility sound great, the results were less than one would hope for.

With Four Weeks in and this being my first week with less than spectacular gym attendance, I had my first (though ever slight) weight gain.

This week my weigh in weight was: 210.6 LBS this is a .2 pound increase from last week, but definitely in the opposite direction.

I plan on hitting the gym a full five days this upcoming week, if not more and reversing this trend.

Let's hope this is the last of the weight gain shifts.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New York, New York

My job requires me to travel about once every six weeks. This week, I had to travel to New York.  This is my first trip since starting the diet and exercise. The trip gave me a chance to test out the diet and exercise routine away from home.

Good News: It wasn't easy, but I was able to stick to the diet. My job requires me to run executive conference, which I quite enjoy. Unfortunately, there are an abundance of carbs everywhere I look at the conferences. Every break has pastries or delicious cakes. Each table has a bowl of mints or candy and lunch usually has rice or pasta too.

While super tough in a land home to famous pizza, bagels and cupcakes, I was able to avoid two of the three (I did bring home some cupcakes for me and my fiancee). Finding awesome and low carb food choices in times square (BBQ and a salad) was not super difficult.

The bad news: I wasn't able to get to the fitness center in three days :(
I did go to Times Square and walk around for a couple hours on Monday and Tuesday. While not my traditional workout, it might have done the trick, we'll see in a few days.

On a personal note: Another positive about this trip is it really re-excited me about my job. The attendees at my conference were really happy with the event, my travel was superior and being back in the office at the end of the week should speed through quickly.

A good trip to the gym today did show me that even missing a couple days throws you off. Hopefully the stamina rebuilds quickly and the pounds fly off.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 3- Wrap up

Another week of dieting and exercise and much smaller than expected results. I keep hearing that 'muscle weighs more than fat'  and I have always thought this was something skinny people say to fat people so they feel better about themselves.

Here is the truth about muscle and fat and life in general. one pounds of anything is one pound, this doesn't change. Muscle does not weigh more than fat. Similar to saying one pound of meat weighs more than one pound of butter. Its still a pound.

Fact: Exercising regularly will transform fat into muscle and often times people who work out regularly will have muscle gain and fat loss and see no change in overall weight loss.

This blog/ website explains this much better than I can

Here are my results after Week 3 and going to the gym 5 days this week:

Current Weight: 210.4 LBS
Loss of 1 LB this week. While disappointed with the weight loss, I am happy to report that I am building the muscles in my legs.

Ultimately my goal is to look good for my fiancee at our wedding and in our photos.

This next week:
I am traveling to New York for work this week. I hope my hotel will have a good fitness center and I can find low carb friendly food in NYC.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Want Candy . . .

Halloween came and went this week and we all know what this means, everyone (yes even adults) have an abundance of yummy candy goodness. Given the nature of this blog, my over weight/ over eating problem and my general fondness of carbs, it should come to no surprise that I love candy!

Now this love affair is not restricted to one type or genre of candy, I am an equal opportunity candy lover. You name it, I love it: chocolate, caramel, savory, sweet, sour, chewy, gummy, fruity, nutty, and the other descriptors. While my favorite candy is the Almond Joy (a perfect combination of chocolate, fruity, nutty, crunchy, and chewy), I enjoy gummy candy most of all.

It all began as a child when my favorite candy treat were Sunkist fruit gems. I am sure my mom thought, 'hmmm, these are made by Sunkist, they sell real Oranges, this should be okay. . .' In three (3) fruit gems (a little bigger than a U.S. quarter) there are 110 calories and 26 g of carbs (all from sugar). To recap from previous posts, 9 fruit gems would take me over all of the carbs I can have on my current diet. CRAZY.
 Sunkist Gems Nutrition facts

This love of chewy candy led me to try Starburst, Swedish Fish and of course, Sour Patch Kids amongst many others. Never stopping to think, 'This chewy candy is 100% sugar and I shouldn't eat this entire packet of Starburst,' I didn't start looking up nutrition facts of food heavily until I started this diet.

Finding nutrition facts is fairly easy, sometimes fun, and information is available of practically everything. If you type 'NAME of FOOD nutrition facts' into your favorite search engine, many web pages will pop up with results. Its good to check a few to ensure there are no discrepancies.

While I think I will always love candy, I have won the battle this Halloween. Incorporating a 'fun size' piece of candy (Almond Joy of course) as one of my carbs a few times this week, but successfully avoiding the evils of chewy candy (though I will always love these)! If I can make it though Christmas with out caving in, I think I will be okay!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cost and Pain of the Routine

Creating a routine and going from inactive to super active to lose weight can be costly, especially if you don't know what you are doing. I learned the importance of shoes over the past week. When first starting out, I was lectured by my brother about shoes.

'You have to get a new pair of shoes,' he said. 'You don't have shoes designed for running.' And right he was.
After a week and a half, I began getting blisters on the bottom of my foot. A really nasty one kept me going full pace the last few days last week, and was causing enough pain to have me give up the treadmill after 10 minutes on Monday.

I am not one to spend much on shoes, but I went out and bought a pair of new gym shoes for *gasp* the gym. Shoes designed for running and not to hurt my feet. After buying these shoes, I started adding up all of the costs for this new lifestyle. It adds up quick. Be warned, if you are going to attempt this, you should know what it is going to cost you in advance.

Thus far I have spent:
Gym- Membership: 21.00
Gym- Annual fee:- 50.00
Clothes- Shorts: - 28.00
Clothes- new socks and underwear (boxers and working out don't mix) - 20.00
Clothes- Shoes- 30.00
Gym Lock- 5.00
Total: $154 not to mention $20.00 a month for the gym

All of this cost has been worth it thus far, as long as these shoes prevent more blisters. ouch.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 2 - Complete

Two weeks into the new diet and exercise lifestyle, and I am feeling good! I call this a new lifestyle, because it is. For the first time in two weeks, I exceeded my allotted carb amount for the day. This Saturday night, I allowed myself a 3rd carb. While this might not seem like a big deal, there was much convincing of myself to do this. I went out with a number of friends yesterday, many of them groomsmen, and of course, we had to have a couple drinks and go out to dinner.
Adding together my two drinks:
Bacardi and Coke Zero (no carbs in the coke Zero) and a Twisted Tea (my favorite beer alternative)
and my dinner:
Grilled Shrimp Tacos (awesome, if I may add)
This adds up to more not allowed carbs in a short period (about 4 hours) than I have had in almost an entire month.

Hopefully, I won't find an excuse every week to take a break from the diet, but I know a couple that will for sure be treated very cautiously- Thanksgiving and Christmas. I will talk about these in a future post.

Here are this week's stats:
  • I went to the gym FIVE out of SEVEN days this week. Spending over 90 minutes each time. 
    • Week 1 - I had family come to the gym with me, I can bring a friend with me unlimited numbers of times, three of the five days I worked out which helped keep me there longer.
    • Week 2- My fiancee was able to go with me once, which had similar outcomes, but I have noticed that I peak at about an hour and a half if I am there alone
  • I have not figured out if the bike is helping or a waste of time. While an excellent source for cardio, miles on the bike and miles on the treadmill do not result in the same number of calories burned/ mile. I may change my routine to focus on treadmill, other cardio machines, and weights and leave the bike for weekends when I can get a full two hours in.
  • Weights: I have added a number of weight machines to my workout, most working out my legs and back. 
    • I gain a lot of weight in my legs. Working out the various muscles in my legs, will help tone the muscle and shed this weight.
    • I want to focus on my back, so when I begin doing abdominal exercises or more extensive workouts, I do not want to hurt myself.
    • I have started adding in different weight machines from time to time, but again not a focus
  • Other than one extra carb out on 'Boy's Night' - I have stuck to the diet. 
  • My hope is to add more vegetables to the diet and increase the variety of my lunches for future weeks, I ended up having lots of yogurt two days this week due to my lack of preparedness
Continued Goals/ Things to Work on
  • During the week, with this new schedule, I have not been as attentive to cleaning the apartment as I should be- dishes, picking up, laundry, etc. have all been put aside one time or another due to my new schedule
  • Vitamin C- I need to ingest more Vitamin C and maybe get a flu shot over the next couple weeks with everyone around me getting sick. I have fought off a cold thus far, but can see it coming in the near future.
  • Schedule. I want to try to make it to the gym 5 days a week, if not more. I will have to figure out how to structure this when I travel for work.
Week 2 Results
At my Sunday morning weigh in, I was at 211.4 LBS. This is a loss of just under 3 LBS for a week of work outs and diet.
As this is October 30, 2011, I can say proudly: October Goal: 218 LBS- Achieved!
Upcoming Goals:
  • By November 1- 218 lbs
  • By December 1- 210 lbs
  • By January 1, 2012- 200 lbs
  • By March 1, 2012- 185 lbs
  • By May 1, 2012- 175 lbs
 At this point, I am less than 37 lbs from my goal and 26 weeks to go to May 1. If I can average 2 lbs a week, I can achieve my end goal.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cravings and Advancements

I have gone longer on this diet (over three weeks at this point) than I have ever dieted in my life. During the first week, the everyday mass-carb consumption was missed. Pasta and rice are easy and quick to whip up, cooking veggies and a full dinner take time. Lucky for me, my wonderful fiancee filled the first two weeks with carb alternative meals that kept me from thinking about carbs until around much later in the evening.

I am a snacker. Yogurt and granola, a bowl of oatmeal or cereal, left over dinner, or ice cream have been my go to snacks at around 9:30 every night for years. This seems to be a habit I have not been able to quit and is next on my list. Before you accuse me of cheating on the diet, given my list of snack items, I have been turning to yogurt sans granola or fruit, and the occasional second helping of dinner.

This makes me believe that I need to reverse this and eat breakfast more often. maybe starting the day with a piece of fruit or yogurt will help me from this late night hunger. Let's hope anyway.

This week, I realized that it was time for me to give up latte's completely forgetting how sugary and bad for me they are, I usually hit Sbux during lunch for a coffee and the occasional latte. While Coffee has a number of health benefits for men and women (even more if guys throw cinnamon in their coffee over sugar), sugary, foamy lattes are not, in general good for you.

This got me thinking about my two weaknesses and what I miss most about not caring about what I ate.
1. Sweets- I overly enjoy pastries, donuts, cake, etc. Too much of these obviously helped lead to my weight ballooning. Regardless, I love sweets. While incorporating a brownie, or birthday cake into the '2 carbs a day' diet, I refuse to make this an everyday or every other day excuse. As the diet continues and holidays come closer, I am sure I will wish for more pumpkin pie, caramel apples, and those free Sbux pastry samples.

2. Soda- I like pop. or soda, or sodapop or Coke. What ever you call it, high fructose corn syrup, carbonate water, cola flavoring and the rest  . . . I enjoy these carbonated beverages much more than I should. It has been over a month since I have had an actual Coca-Cola (in the Red Can, with the fake real sugar). Luckily for me, there are the Zero and Max versions of name brand sodas, where I can get my non-coffee/ tea caffeine fix. These versions have 0 carbs, but also have 0 nutritional significance.

Despite these challenges and temptations, I have been able to make it the gym 3 of 5 nights this week and plan to close out the week strong with two more solid gym visits.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 1 - Complete

Today is October 23,2011 which marks the beginning of Week 2 of the full diet and exercise program that I have developed to drop weight for my wedding with my beautiful fiancee, Ashley, on August 11, 2012. I want to be around for a long time and I have never been 'in shape' in my life. The only shape I have been is round and I have a keg rather than a 6 pack.

Saying this is Week 2, may be a bit of a misnomer though. The truth is that we, my fiancee and I, started the diet about a week into October and I did sign up for and go to the gym one time before this week (Friday, October 14).

I feel that it is easier moving forward with the blog and the diet looking towards my goals and using Sunday, October 16, as the start day for the diet and exercise program, as that was the day of my first weigh in.

Here is a brief summary of the diet, routine, and goals, if you have missed any of my previous posts.
  • My fiancee and I are on a low carb, high fresh fruit and vegetable diet. Weening down our carb intake. 
    • Ideally, we would like to get to about 70 g of carbs a day, while shunning most simple carbs (candy, sugar, honey) all together. 
    • Like many things I have found, there is no real answer to what is the ideal amount of carbs. The Atkins diet calls for 20 g of 'net carbs' (Carbs minus fiber) a day or less. Atkins Site Regarding Carbs
    • A number of diets to maintain a health lifestyle recommend 120 total grams of carbohydrates a day Low Carbs on 
    • One concern that we both have is the negative responses to a high protein diet Negatives of a Low Carb Diet
    • Our first challenge is limiting our simple and wheat related carbs (bread, wraps, pasta, oatmeal, cereal and granola) as well as potatoes to 2 a day.
  • I am going to the gym, a minimum 4 times a week. Doing a combination the first 4 weeks of 70% cardio, 30% weight training. 
  • For the Month of October, my goal was to get to 218 LBS by October 31 and 210 LBS by November 30.
  • Starting Weight: 221 LBS
  • Current weight: 214.2 LBS

Weigh In Part One

One consistent theme that I have found over the last week or so is that websites on diet, exercise, what you should and shouldn't do and how long you should do it often will contradict one another.

It seems that there is not much consistency in how often you should weigh yourself. Some sites suggest weighing yourself everyday, others suggest that weighing your self weekly is better for results. Even some sites and diets call for people to weigh themselves once a month so that they can accurately see results.

Each of these plans have positives and negatives:
Daily weigh ins might not have immediate results or can fluctuate from day to day. If you ate more, went to the bathroom less or a dozen other factors, can cause your weight to go up and down throughout the day.

Weekly and monthly weigh ins give you a more accurate picture of your weight loss, gain, or steadiness because your day-to-day diet is not factored in. Though starting a diet, you may want to see more results after a week or two and you may want to weigh yourself more often.

This site: Dr. Stoppler on Weighing Yourself, does say that a recent study has shown that weighing yourself more often does help those that are obese keep on track of their diets and losing weight.

After weighing the pros and cons (no pun intended), this is what I have decided to do:
1. Prior to going to bed each night, I will weigh myself. Taking note of the results and what my goals are for the next day
2. Record my weight once a week. As I bought the scale and tested it on Sunday, I feel that a Sunday weigh in will give the most accurate portrayal of my weight and how it fluctuates
3. To keep me motivated, I will continue to blog often.

After One full week of going to the gym: 5 out of 7 days in a week, my current weight is: 214.2 LBS

Friday, October 21, 2011

BMI . . . Really?

Okay, so the National Institute of Health (NIH) institutes the Body Mass Index (BMI). According to wikipedia, BMI is defined as:

The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics"
Wikipedia BMI Entry 
Guy Who came up with BMI 

Based on this information, this is a 160+ year old formula ((Weight in Pounds X 703)/ inches^2).
This will give you a number (1 - 50+) Based on this number, it tells you if your weight is average, above average, obese, worse than obese or under weight.

Rather than doing the math yourself, you can find calculator here:
NIH Calculator

Using Google, I searched the term, 'is bmi bs?' and had over 6.5 MILLION results. More or less, the BMI is outdated. One of the biggest downfalls of the BMI is that it does not take muscle mass into account. You can be 5'7 and 200 pounds of muscle and still be considered 'obese'. 

While I agree that I am overweight and maybe will even admit to being obese, BUT there is no way that I am on the end of the obese scale. My starting weight BMI is 34.6 and my goal weight (175) is still overweight with a BMI of 27.4.

I think that this should be changed or actual body fat should be calculated in this too.

Just my thoughts and a bit of a rant.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I don't know about you, but I have never been big on exercising, NEVER.

I used to go on walks a lot in college, but that was three years ago, rarely longer than 20 minutes and rarely, if ever, at an intense pace. Needless to say, jumping on a treadmill or doing cardio for 45 minutes straight is NOT something that I have ever done.

Going from couch potato, more like couch cushion (or mashed potato), given my increasing weight gain over the years to 50 pounds lighter and less cushion-y, maybe even less of a potato (no promises), will be a difficult journey. After spending some time on the internet (see couch potato) I have found several different and contradicting articles about eating and exercising to lose the weight and keep it off.

Here are some of the more useful articles I have found:
10 Strategies to Lose Weight - Mens Health
I love, because there are always a number of useful tips and hints to many things. I have found the two following articles interesting.
Beginner's Guide to Running
After my first 4 weeks at the gym, I am going to attempt this as well:
8 weeks to learn to Run

I am giving myself 4 weeks of treadmill, because right now I am not able to jog more than 30 seconds.

Based on what I have read and my own limitations, as mentioned I haven't exercised in excess EVER, the first few weeks I will follow the following routine at the gym:
  • 2-3 miles on the treadmill on various inclines at speeds ranging between 2.5 and 4.5 MPH
  • 4-5 miles on the stationary bike on various incline options
  • Attempt other cardio equipment and get up to .5 miles on stairs. After a few attempts, I am lucky to make it .1 mile before having to give out
Weight Training:

I want to focus first on my back and legs and move into arms and chest as I move through the routine
I am going to start with different leg lifts at a minimal weight (10 lifts each leg separately and 20 together)
For my back, I am going to do 30 reps at 50 pounds and increase to 70 by Week 2 of Gym

After 4 weeks, I will re-evaluate and increase my routine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Interesting Article . . .

Personal Trainer Gains 70 Pounds to Make a PointI thought this was an interesting article. I will follow this story as I continue on my own journey.

My Goals

It's important to set goals for yourself when on a diet/ exercising. This first month, I am going to set the goal low and pick up the steam as my body get more used to going to the gym on a daily or near daily level.

After my first intense workout, I am exhausted, even 16 hours later.

After Month 1 (end of October 2011) My goal is to weigh under 218lbs. As of 10-16, I was at 221.2. This gives me a goal of losing 3 pounds in a little over 2 weeks. With the diet in full swing, the birthday cake gone, I hope that this is possible

These first few pounds will be difficult, but if I can continue the regimen, I will be able to set much higher goals. By the end of November, I want to weigh: 210 pounds. November's goal will be 8 pounds, assuming I reach my goal by the end of October.

Through the end of the year, my goal is to weigh 200 pounds on a scale for the first time in recent memory, no matter what my license may say :)

Through the holidays and into March (January and February), I would like to be at 185 pounds. While for a lot of people. The thought of weighing 185 may be still too big, I would like to go through March keeping the weight off. This has been my most difficult challenge in ever dieting. Keeping the weight off, always seems to be the problem.

Eventually going back to a more normal diet, but increasing portion control and exercising as much as possible.

To sum up thus far, I want to go from 221.2 pounds to 185 pounds by February 29, 2012. This will be a loss of over 35 pounds in 5 months.

During March, my goal is to keep the weight off and maintain 185 pounds. Throughout April and May, my goal is 5 lbs loss each month, resulting in a total weight of 175 lbs for me and 45 pounds lost.

While preparing for the wedding, I would like to tone up in June and July for the wedding August 11, 2012.

To wrap up:
Weight in May 2011: 230 LBS
Weight as of October 2011: 222.2LBS
GOAL as of May, 2012: 175 LBS

Total weight loss Goal with low carb diet and exercise from October 2011 to May 2012: 47 LBS
47 pounds in 8 months equals approx. 6 LBS a month.

Monday, October 17, 2011

One week in and then some

After one full week of the diet, I lost one pound. dropping to 221.2 pounds. After that week, I decided to join a gym- something I had never considered in my life.

The diet is not nearly as difficult as we would have thought and we are doing well. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Lots of squash.

We did have one issue entering into week 2, my 26th birthday. With all birthdays, there is a certain amount of sweets that come with it. At work, my wonderful colleagues got me all sorts of cupcakes and my wonderful Ashley made me a Harry Potter/ Hogwarts themed cake.

While the diet is in full swing, the awesome power of cake and cupcakes can be overwhelming. Ashley and I have done well thus far and I am looking forward to the gym membership.

The Gym:
Thus far, I have gone twice. My first experience was limited to cardio and after about 45 minutes of machines, and sweat I was done. My second adventure was over 90 minutes long and was much more involved.

As I continue to go, I am sure that I will talk more about the work outs, the weigh ins and the diet.

Weigh in and diet

As discussed previously, I was disgusted by a photo of myself. After some digging and talking to friends, I decided to begin a low carb regimen. Have I mentioned that I am extremely lucky and getting married?

My fiancee has taken up my cause and is helping me stay motivated with this diet. She too, is going all out on this low carb diet.

The Diet:
We are limiting ourselves to two carb rich items a day. This would include:
ice cream
sugar rich foods (other desserts)
sweet potatoes

I am also including in this list:

After week 2, I will also include:

By limiting our carb intake, we will limit the amount of sugar we eat and thus have healthier diets.

Starting Weight:
222.5 LBS
no I am not happy about it either

The beginning

For as long as I can remember, I have been overweight. I have horrible memories about gym class in grammar school and not being able to run long enough or far enough or fast enough.

Through high school and college, I gradually accepted my bigger than 'normal' status and my weight fluctuated throughout.

About 4 years ago, I fell in love with this wonderful girl, Ashley. In January, we became engaged and about since then, I had been saying that I need to lose weight. In May, I weighed myself and was at an astounding 230 pounds. This was the largest I had ever seen on a scale, though there is a good chance, I had weighed more in college and high school.

I began watching what I ate and some pounds fell off. I lost 12 pounds by limiting sugar/ sweets and only taking cream in my coffee. I thought I was doing good, until the beginning of October, 2011. By October, I began gaining some of the weight back. I didn't realize how much of the weight I had gained back until I went out with some friends, and as friends will do, pictures were taken.

After seeing a photo of myself from the previous night on facebook, I made the decision to make some serious life changes and look good for my fiancee in our wedding photos. She is always there for me and for her, our wedding and our future, I am determined to lose weight, get in shape, and hopefully adjust into a healthy lifestyle.