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.