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!