Diet Update

Update – 1/15

Continuing on the thread of finally losing some of this weight I gained that I wrote about first on 1/8, today is the weekly update.

On 1/2, I kicked the effort off. That day, I stepped on the scale, and it was an eye-boggling 263.2 pounds.

I will be honest, I had been hiding from the scale, and this number shocked me, but I was not surprised.

While it isn’t a New Year’s resolution, as I know that would be doomed to failure, it was a wake up call.

Today, when I woke up and stepped on the scale, it read 254.4 pounds. Of course, in the first week, I lost about 5#’s of probable water weight, so that lead to a precipitous decline that wasn’t real. Now I am settling into a routine.

Continue reading →

On the Diet Train

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we visited with my dad, who is increasingly slipping into the maw of Alzheimers. One of the exercises was to sort through his pictures of us as children, in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

My parents divorced in 1970 or so (my memory is hazy), but shared joint custody. So every other weekend, it was off to the father’s house, and since he was a bit of a shutterbug, we were constantly being photographed.

Most of these pictures were from this time. Apart from my awful hair, I was an ordinary adolescent, active, and skinny. Alas, that didn’t last, and I have done battle with my weight throughout my life. Continue reading →

New years commitments – not a resolution

I never really got into the “New Year’s Resolutions” thing. Too much pressure to succeed, that ironically virtually guarantees your failure. That said, I havd a few things i am going to do better this year.

My weight

I have been letting my weight inch up. Stressful job, not enough time to exercise, and comfort foods all conspire. Add in the medications that I take that lower my metabolism, and it is a perfect storm.

I know how to lose weight, having dropped 25#’s in 2013, so it isn’t a trick. Eat less, exercise more, and be sure that calories in is less than calories out. Easy peasy.

Back to a measured breakfast, a predictable (and countable calorie) lunch, and modest dinner. Counting calories, and keeping track is key.

Two weeks in, and i am probably down 7#’s already (the easy initial loss). My pants fit better, and I can tell the difference. Already, I am adjusting to the smaller portions. Woot.

My drinking

Our tequila consumption had gone through the roof. Not an every day occurrence, but enough to become a concern. Last night I finished the last of my holiday ale from Christmas, and I will stop buying beer.

I will occasionally have a glass of wine or a pint of ale, but it will become a once a month thing, not 2 or 3 a week thing.

Exercising

This is tougher. My schedule at work is brutal, and I really can’t break away cleanly to exercise at lunch like I have been able to in the past. Still, I need to work harder at getting out on the weekends. Bicycling where I live is choice, so that is a huge positive.

I still try to get out and walk occasionally too, and I need to start hiking the trails in the Santa Cruz mountains.

As I approach the magical five-oh, the body clearly needs different behaviors. Time to get serious.

Back in the saddle – lunchtime exercise

Today was the first time in almost a month that I was able to escape the office at lunch and work out. Heck, for that matter, it is probably the first time in more than 3 weeks that I was able to bring in my lunch.

Launching a product, sales training, travel, and then having to run home at lunch to take care of the hounds, means that I have been severely curtailed in my lunchtime run/walk. Add to that brutally cold (for Phoenix) weekends, so I haven’t been able to cycle either.

Today I got out for 4 miles at lunch. Felt good, but I am definitely out of shape.

Next week we are shut down, so I will take that opportunity to get aggressive with both the exercise and diet.

Fitness Update – Long Absense

Early in August, I had my 30th high school reunion. It was a blast, but I made a decision to not worry about my calories that week.

I came back to a foot that bugged me and kept me from any serious exercise. I was careful about what I ate, but I didn’t track it meticulously. Some splurges, some good days, some less good.

I have been dreading the scale, but this morning I stepped on it in preparation for “getting back in the groove” and was pleasantly surprised that I weigh the same as I did before the reunion trip. Woo hoo, I didn’t backslide too much.

Now to get back on the plan. 20#’s to go.

Fitness then and now

Back in 2003/2004 I lost a ton of weight. I went from a peak of about 265#’s to ~185#’s where I stabilized for a long time. I did it the old fashion way, by eating less and exercising more. I counted calories, targeting ~ 1,400 a day (give or take). I started exercising in a gym (because I was really out of shape, it seemed the safest way to get serious), but graduated to running and cycling (even completing a 100km fundraising event that summer).

While I kept at that low weight for a long time, the following year we took a two week vacation in France, and I packed on a few pounds (don’t judge me, the food was OUTSTANDING).  Then I turned 40 (and 45) and the weight was harder to take off.  Just cutting my calorie intake wasn’t enough. Throw in plantar fasciitis and it wasn’t possible to do my daily exercise ritual anymore.

Fast forward until now.  I got back up to 232#’s in early 2013, and I wasn’t happy. I decided to get serious about it. Fortunately, there are lots of tools available today that were just not an option in 2003.

Perfect Diet Tracker – Byoni Systems. A great program that helps you set goals, and track your intake. It has an amazing database that users contribute to, and in the event that something is not there, it is trivial to add it to the database from the nutritional label. I can also enter in my exercise, so that I keep a running tally. Setting goals is easy (and it will warn you if you are being too aggressive, or losing weight too fast), and takes the guesswork out of the process. It is reasonably priced, and it is cross platform, so I use it on my mac as well as my work PC to track while I am on the road (it also has a Linux version too). It syncs with Dropbox, so my data is wherever I am at.

Runkeeper – Application on the iPhone. I started using the Nike application, but it was buggy and crashed a lot.  A friend recommended RunKeeper, and I haven’t looked back. It has all the exercise types listed, and tracks your progress cleanly. It also integrates with a heart rate monitor so I can accurately track my cardio work. I use it for walking, hiking, and biking. There is a great website that you can use to review and track your workouts. It shares automatically with Facebook and Twitter. For what I use it for, it is free, but there is a paid version that will help you train for things like Marathons.

BlueWazoo Heart Rate Monitor – A chest strap with a blue tooth sender unit, it pairs with my iPhone and RunKeeper app. Instead of just tracking speed, distance, and elevation, this option adds a real time tracking of my heartrate. Something I am concerned about being a victim of coronary artery disease.

Excel – I take my blood pressure daily, and track it in an excel spreadsheet.  I also daily track my weight (I weigh myself first thing in the morning, and measure my blood pressure before I drink coffee. Excel is a great tool for this, as it lets me graph the results in a variety of ways that are useful to me.

The world has changed, and the technology has made the exercise portion of fitness and the nutritional tracking to be more exact, and relevant to the process.

To date I have lost 22#’s in 2.5 months. A good pace, and I am satisfied.  About 20 more to go.

Diet Update

One of the hazards of dieting, and the process of losing weight is the inevitable plateaus that you will encounter. They are frustrating as hell. You know that you are not going overboard on the calories, and you are doing your exercise, but the needle doesn’t budge.

I had been stalled at 214#’s for almost 2 weeks. It was frustrating, particularly because I picked up the intensity of my exercising, doing more and longer bicycle rides. Hell, even my tracking program was telling me that something was broken.

Fortunately, I broke through that plateau, and am now down to 212#’s. That marks a milestone. Since I started in mid April, 9 weeks ago (roughly), I am down 20#’s.  I am almost half way to my goal. Woo hoo!

Fitness Update (was how I am trying to not be a “People of Walmart”)

Been a while since I updated. I started this quest about 2 months ago (actually April 9th, I started weighing myself daily), and I was 232#’s. I began counting calories, and tracking everything I ate, as well as trying to be more diligent about exercising.

In early May, I got back on the bicycle (first ride in 6 months or so, I was rusty and SORE afterwards), and have been getting more diligent about hitting the streets.

The weight has been inching down. Not as fast as I would like to see, but a pretty consistent 2+ pounds a week.  There have been some setbacks. My birthday dinner, and our anniversary dinner were good splurges, but they did slow the rate of decline. Additionally when I started getting more serious and regular about cycling, I suspect that I was trading adipose fat tissue for muscle tissue. My legs are coming back, and it feels great to ride for 25 – 30 miles at a stretch.

Today, I am at 214#’s, spitting distance to 20#’s off, and I feel pretty good.  I think I might be able to start jogging at lunch time again, something my feet and my weight have prevented me from doing.

The goal is to get to ~ 190#. That is a pretty comfortable weigh for my frame.  At this rate, by the end of summer, I should be able to get there.

Diet and fitness update

Last week was a challenge. With the holiday (grilled some yummy steaks), and our anniversary (tried another local Mexican place that is now our favorite), and two days of training a new sales engineer put a crimp on the diet. But all told, I came out of the week down a pound, and once the over abundance of salt worked its way out, my blood pressure recovered nicely.

This weekend, I got into the spandex, on the bike, and put almost 54 miles on. It is getting challenging, as even leaving at 7:00AM, it is already 85F, and rising to mid 90’s before I get back at 9:00AM. Next week, I will need to pull the Camelback out of its hidey-hole, and load it up.  The water bottles are no longer enough to keep me hydrated.

I am down to 215#, 25#’s to go to get to my target of 190.

(This afternoon, it is almost 112F.  It is safe to say that the ice broke on the Salt River.)

Weight loss update, more on my quest to not be a Person of Walmart

Started the memorial day weekend well, took a couple extra days off, and haven’t wasted them.

I had a serious plateau at 220 and 219 #’s.  I was stuck there for almost week and half.  Nothing is more depressing than counting every calorie you consume, and every erg you expend in exercise to not see any movement of the scale.  Last time I did this, I had several plateaus and I know I was able to work through them, so I stuck with it (to be fair, my birthday was in the middle of this and I had a major splurge day. Gordon Birsch Czech Pilsner. Yummy.

Fortunately, I finally broke through my plateau, and I dropped almost overnight to 216#’s.  Back on the track of 3#’s a week of weight loss (that is fast enough that my diet tracker chastises me for losing too fast).

The real plus is that about a month ago, I got back on the bicycle.  There are some great loops near my house, and I have been exploring.  I have a couple of 25 mile loops, which equates to about 1700 calories burned in an hour and 40 minutes.