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October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Carol (my ex-wife)!

Token Fat Guy is Busted

In last weeks blog I posted some new pictures of myself compared to ones from about a year ago.  Since then I've received a couple of emails questioning how authentic those pictures were.  Mostly it came down to one important fact....I look much younger in the new pictures. 

I've heard of this sort of thing.  People will take a much older picture...we will call it PictureA, and a much more recent picture...we will call PictureB, and do a side-by-side like what I have done.  However, they are using PictureA as the 'after' and PictureB as the 'before'.  So instead of showing the truth...that they gained weight...it looks like they lost weight.

Knowing that pictures like that are out there, I can understand why people are skeptical.  And I must say that there is something I didn't admit to that is pretty plain to see....

While I really did lose the weight, it doesn't account for the fact that I have much less white in my beard.  So it is time I confess my horrible crime.

    Just 5 minutes and I look 10 years younger!

Do I sound vain to you?  You bet I'm vain.  I think anyone that is trying to lose weight and be more healthy is at least a little vain.  And while it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins....I think a little vanity is okay in moderation.

So, my secret is out....

Low Cost Weight Loss

A couple weeks ago I did a bit on No Cost Weight Loss for those of you that want to lose weight but don't have a great deal of money to throw at it.  This week, I'd like to continue but this time I'll be speaking about things that are just low in cost.  And I'll throw in a couple of 'no cost' tips for you big time cheapskates.

Tip #1  One of the newest thing I started working with is the 'balance ball'.  Also called a 'Swiss ball' or 'birth ball' or 'pilates ball' or 'sports ball' or 'Swedish ball' or 'therapy ball' or 'yoga ball'....and so on.  I've seen these things at the gym and watched a few people use them but I never really thought much about them until I saw that a couple of my coworkers had them in their offices.  And a few were actually using them instead of their office chairs.  So I waited until after normal business hours and swiped one from an office and tried it out.  I just sat on the thing and did my normal work.  And every now and then I'd bounce a bit on it...or try to lift up my feet and keep my balance.  I used it for about an hour....I didn't feel like I'd done much.  Then I stood up....OUCH.  My legs where tired like I'd been on the treadmill...my abs and back were weak.  I had to walk it out for a bit.  So I checked my trusty BodyBugg....and yes, I did indeed burn more calories than if I had been sitting still. 

So I did some research on the 'ball of many names' and found that there was a number of exercises that you could do with it and most targeted what is referred to as core stabilization.  I won't get into that much as I could do a whole blog about it.  For now let's just say its good for your back and abs.

One specific exercise that you can do with it is an ab crunch.  You lay on the ball so your knees are bent and your back is supported by the ball and parallel with the floor.  Then you crunch up your abs and pull your chest up so the top of your torso is at a 45 degree angle with the floor.  Hold for a sec and then return to the start position.  I love this crunch because it supports the lower back....which is usually a big concern for fat people.  We want to do crunches to strengthen our abs but they can put your back out if you do them wrong.  Doing them with the ball provides extra support for the back so injuries are less likely to happen.

 

Balance balls are pretty cheap.  You can get them for around $30 - $40...and they usually come with a DVD that shows you some of the more popular exercises you can do.  I have one at the office to use at my desk and another in my home gym.  And of course I use the ones at the gym when I'm doing circuit training.  

Tip #2  Here is a no cost tip.  In the winter, keep the house as cold as you can stand it....especially when you are working out from home.  Why?  Studies have shown that workers in colder climates have much higher metabolic rates.....up to 20% higher.  I tried it this morning.  I left the heat off overnight and worked out in the cold when I got up.  It took me a bit longer to get started...but I had a great workout and BodyBugg said I burned lots of calories.

Tip #3 Join a gym.  This may sound like a huge expense but it can be more reasonable than you'd think.  But shop around.  The price for gym membership varies greatly.  I always recommend the YMCA.  They are usually the cheapest...and they have branches all over the country.  Plus, they have special plans for low income families and for state employees. 

YMCA membership is cheaper than my cable bill....and I spend more time at the gym than I do watching TV.  But still...shop around.

The gym to stay away from is LA Weight Loss.  They will do a free consultation...but that's just the 'hook'.  After the membership fees, they push their foods and supplements on you...and that's the big expense.  Oh but don't worry...they will be GLAD to help with financing.  I've found horror stories where people ended up having to get lawyers involved to get themselves disentangled from LA Weight Loss.   

Tip #4  I read this one online a long time around and it stuck with me.  Pick up some PVC pipe that is comfortable in your hand, cut it to different lengths, fill the PVC with sand, duct tape the ends.  You have a set of cheap weights you can use like dumbbells.

Tip #5  This one is FREE.  Part of reason working out and diet is a stress is because you don't have a support system.  You don't really know if you are doing anything correctly or not.  I suggest you join an online forum so you have lots of people there to support you.  One of the best I've found is John Stone's site....

www.JohnStoneFitness.com

They are a little geared toward the bodybuilders but there are also MANY people that are just trying to lose weight.  There is a TON of info on their site.  Membership is free....but that also means that there are lots of ads on the site.  But it isn't too obnoxious.

Tip #6  I don't do this one but I hope to add it to my bag of tricks someday.....jump rope.  Jump ropes are incredibly cheap and you can get a brutal workout from them.  I've seen the boxers at the gym workout with the jump ropes....and it is like watching that scene from 'Rocky III' where Rocky finally gets the hang of the jump rope and the other workout methods that Apollo is trying to teach him ...and that song 'Eye of the Tiger' is playing....YEAH!! ...just thinking about it makes me want to go workout again.

   You gotta love Apollo Creed!

Tip #7  If you are doing workouts from home with some of your own equipment (mat, balance ball, whatever), then go to the library and rent some exercise DVDs.  They are cheap and they give you all sorts of exercise ideas.

Tip #8  Get some ankle weights.  Usually around $10, ankle weights help you to get more out of your exercise time. 

NOTE:  Do not use ankle weights when running or walking.  It can lead to some neurological disorders.  They are great when used for leg curls or stuff like that...just don't walk or run in them.

Tip #9  Go to yard sales/ garage sales.  Getting out and about will burn some calories...but we aren't just doing it for that.  Lots of people want to get in shape but most of them quit after they find out it is real work.  However, most of them don't quit until after they've sunk some money into it.  So after they are tired of looking at that new treadmill they've been using as a hat rack, they sell it the next time they clean out the the house.  This is the perfect time to get some sweet exercise gear and greatly reduced prices.  Spend a few minutes looking up costs online before you go hunting....know how much stuff was when it was new so you know a bargain when you see it. 

NOTE:  You can do the same thing with the classified ads.  Or even use eBay.  My Select Tech dumbbells were purchased on eBay.  I ended up with a new set (never out of the box) at almost half the price of a set if I'd bought it from the store.  I'm no dummie.....get it?  Dummie.....dumbbells....Hey!  Laugh at my jokes or exit my website! 

And take this stupid dog with you!

October 23, 2007

To My family

Hi family!  I've recently found out that there are some members of my family out there reading my blog that I didn't know about.  So hi to you all and don't be shy....post if you have any questions or comments.

The Difference a Year Makes

It was about a year ago when it happened. I stood up on my newly healed ankle and looked down at the fat that I'd been collecting not only while I was convalescing but also from many years before that. 
 
"How badly did I mess up this time?", I thought to myself.
 
I walked past my home gym that had been collecting dust and stepped on the scales....it was worse than I thought....292 pounds.  I stepped off the scales, reset them, and tried again.  No...they weren't wrong.  I'd hit a new high point.
 
This had been a few months after my 40th birthday.  There's something about turning 40 that makes a person stop and reflect on their life.  Usually this leads to evaluating where you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life.  It was no different for me.  Over the next week or so I made the decision to lose some weight.  It wasn't the only decision I made...but it was probably the most important. 
 
So I set out to try to find a healthy path....a path less traveled.  That was in late September of 2006.  By October I had lost a couple pounds...but it really didn't show yet.  I'd tell people how I was doing with my dieting and they'd nod their heads and say things like, "Good for you" or "I wish you luck".  But I know some of them were looking at me and thinking to themselves, "You lost weight?  From where?"
 
Don't get me wrong, I don't hold it against them.  Losing weight is hard...the more you need to lose the harder it is.  And at first, no one is going to see a difference.  Which is a shame because that's when you need encouragement most.
 
Anyway, for all the people that couldn't notice the difference I have some pictures to share.
 
The beginning shots is from last October, at my Halloween party.  The new shots were taken last week.  I tried to keep near the same position so you could see better....
 
Driverfin
 
The one on the right I was holding a Tootsie Pop.  I didn't have one for the second picture, so I held a screwdriver. :)  Also, the shirt is different.  The old shot says 'Backwards Compatible' (written backwards) and the new one says 'Nobody Reads My Blog'.
 
gift2fin
 
This one was a shot of me giving out the prize for last year's costume contest.  Luckily, I had another box just like it in storage.
 
If any of you can't see the difference now...then you need glasses.  I'm looking at it and I don't even think they look like the same guy...and I'm the guy.
 
Anyway....I've been asked to post some pictures on my blog to show my progress....so there you go.
 

Changes in my routine

Every 6 weeks I change out my weight training so my muscles never get used to what I'm doing.  But I've started noticing that I always do them in the same order.  Like on days that I do chest/back/glutes/abs, I always do chest first and abs last.  By the time I get to my abs I'm so tired that I really can't give it as much as I'd like.  So I'm going to break it up.  I'll still do all the same exercises for a 6 week period, but I'll do them in reverse order on the second 3 weeks.  That should help shake things up a bit.
 
And speaking of 'shakes'....I was talking about the protein shakes I take with one of my friends at work that also does weight training.  I had been complaining about how the bananas I use keep going bad.  I like to buy a big bunch of them so I don't have to buy them again for awhile....but the last few always go bad on me.  And if I buy them TOO under-ripe, then the first few are just awful.  He suggested that I freeze them.  So I tried it...and it works great.  Just do the following....
 
1. You just take a Zip Lock bag
2. Pop in a banana
 
3. Smash it all up   
 
4. Toss it in the freezer. 
 
I can freeze a whole bunch at once and they are ready when I want to mix one in a shake....
 
Now I can concentrate on my exercising....
 
Just remember to peel them before you freeze them. 
Now get out of here before all this talk of food attracts some hungry dogs...
 
 funnydogs16lz1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

October 16, 2007

No Cost Method

After last my post from last week I was contacted by a couple of my readers and asked if it is effective weight loss was possible on a budget.  I had to stop for a moment and wonder why I was being asked this question....but then I thought about it. 

  • Home gym
  • Zune MP3 player
  • Gym membership
  • BodyBugg calorie counter
  • Protein shakes
  • Ironman scales
  • Web site

I guess I get a bit carried away.  My love for gadgets and such sort of gives the impression that I absolutely MUST have this stuff to succeed in my transformation.  And truth be told...I don't need them.  I just like them.

It is VERY doable to lose weight on a budget.  You just need to understand the principles of weight loss and look for ways to make them work in your life.  So let's review the cardinal rule of weight loss....the rule that everything else is based on.....

YOU MUST BURN MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME

That's it.  Now we can move on to finding some low cost ways of making this happen. 

1. You will need to understand about how many calories you tend to burn in a day.  You don't have to have a  fancy shmancy calorie counter.  Just use the following web site to get a ball park idea....

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

Just answer 5 questions and BAM...you can see how many calories you burn.

2.  Now you need to start keeping track of what you consume.  Another free website to the rescue!

http://www.FitDay.com

Before I got BodyBugg, I used to use Fit Day to track what I was eating.

3.  Using the information you gather in steps 1 and 2, you now need to figure out how many calories you need to restrict yourself to get the weight loss you are after.  Use the free CALC.EXE program in your computer.  The recommended restriction is around 500 - 1000 calories a day.  So if the Free Dieting calculator says you burn 2800 calories in a day and you want to restrict 500 per day..... 2800-500=2300.  Make sure you eat about 2300 calories a day and you will lose weight....at a rate of about 1 pound a week.

4.  Another free resource that you can use is Calorie King.  This handy website allows you to lookup the nutritional values on most of your favorite foods.  So if you eat something and don't know how many calories are in it, you can find out quickly so you can enter it into your Fit Day log.

That pretty much takes care of dieting...and we haven't spent a dime yet.  Next let's talk about exercise options.

1.  When I first started trying to lose weight, I walked....and I still do sometimes.  One thing my BodyBugg taught me was that during a brisk walk I burn about 5 times as many calories as I do when just sitting at my computer.   Let me show you....

g1

The area in the red circle is me walking for an hour.  I burned about 500 calories.  Just walking...not even running.  That's huge.....and I bet everyone reading this has shoes already.  So again with the FREE.

2.  Clean your house you filthy pig!  Guess what!  House cleaning is one of the most brutal, calorie burning activities known to man...or woman.  The area circled in green shows me weight training for about an hour and the area in red show me shampooing the floors.  Doing the floors burned nearly 700 calories.      

g2 

You should see what the laundry does for me...all that bending at the midsection.....that's some hard exercising!  And again....FREE

3.  Play with the kids!  Don't have kids...borrow some from your friends and chase them around.  Don't like kids....chase them with a knife.  Just kidding...you might trip and stab yourself with the knife.  If you don't like kids, play with the dog.

NOTE:  Token Fat Guy does NOT advocate chasing kids with a knife.  If you can't tell what is humor, I'm not responsible for your stupid actions.

4.  Go shopping.  Buying stuff isn't free...but all that walking and schlepping stuff around is.  I used to hate it when Heather asked me to run out to pick up something from the grocery store.  Now I jump at the chance. 

5.  Do you work in an office building?  I'll bet you have some stairs!  Climbing stairs is another no cost way of burning off the flab....and it is cheaper than buying a 'stair stepper'.

6.  Driving around also provides you with an opportunity to burn some extra calories.  Next time you pull up to a stop light flex the muscles in your buttocks (gluts).  See how high you can count to before the light goes green.  I confess that I do this all the time.  At first I used to worry that some one would see me 'bouncing' in my seat....but I stopped caring after I realized that most people around me were too busy picking their respective noses to worry about what I was doing.

7.  Okay...now here's a list of standard exercises that you can try....

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Squats
  • Push Ups
  • Toe Touches
  • Sit Ups
  • Dance (don't tell my coworkers...but I dance in the elevator when I'm by myself)

There's more of course but I think you should be getting the idea by now.  Getting in shape doesn't have to break the bank.  In fact everything I've talked about today is FREE. 

Hall of Shame

Today I want to point out a new item added to the menu at your local Hardee's...the Country Breakfast Burrito!

 attack This amazing tortilla contains the following....

  • A two eggs
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Diced ham
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Hash browns
  • Sausage gravy

This wonderful new culinary marvel stands ready to start your day off with 920 calories and 60 grams of fat!  This is the type of food I've come to expect from the people that brought us the Monster Thickburger which weighs in at a heart stopping 1420 calories.

My nickname for this a food-run-a-muck..................... The Cardiac Wrap.

I think I gained two pounds just writing about this thing.  I need to run to the gym....or maybe to a vomitorium

October 09, 2007

Token Fat Guy Goes High Tech!

A few weeks ago I wrote about a TV show that I started to follow, 'The Biggest Loser'.  For those of you that missed that posting....

TFG Reviews "The Biggest Loser"

...it is a reality show where they take a bunch of fat people and pit them against each other in a weight loss competition.  The winner gets a big cash prize.  Despite the fact that I despise reality TV, I enjoy this show because it really captures the struggle that most people feel during their dieting attempts.  And if it can motivate a few people to switch off the TV for awhile and walk their fat asses around the block....then I'm all for it.

Anyway, I'd been reading some of the show's blog about the trainers and one of the trainers was asked about the arm bands that the contestants started wearing in session three.  The trainer said they were called BodyBuggs and that they tracked how many calories were burned by each person. 

bodybugg

That sounded pretty cool...especially in light of my resent gross miscalculation about how many calories I should be eating.  Imagine a device that would take all the guess work out of keeping up with your caloric deficit.

deficit NOTE:  A caloric deficit refers to the difference between how many calories you consume (eat/drink) and how many calories you burn.  If you consume more than you burn, it is a caloric surplus and you will gain weight.  If you burn more than you consume, then it is a caloric deficit and you will lose weight.

The problem with the caloric deficit is that you want it to be enough to maximize your weight loss....but NOT so high that your body responds by slowing down your metabolism.  If your body starts slowing down then it is actually harder to create a deficit because you aren't burning calories at as high a rate as you normally do.  And if your caloric deficit is too high you will also burn muscle mass instead of fat.

The widely accepted rule of thumb is to use a daily caloric deficit between 500 and 1000 calories.  But again, it becomes a struggle because if you incorrectly estimate how many calories you are burning, then it really IS like trying to hit a moving target.

NOTE:  Don't get me wrong, it can be done.  I did it for a year and lost in the neighborhood of 50 pounds (and that's with about 3 months of being off my diet).  You don't HAVE to have a bunch of high tech gizmos to lose weight.  I just like gadgets.

To make the job easier, its BodyBugg to the rescue.  By tracking how many calories you REALLY burn, it makes hitting the target infinitely easier.  Not only that, but you get to see how each activity you do during the day affects your caloric burn.  And as a bonus for the geek in us...its kind of like playing a video game.

The more I read about it the more excited I got.  Then <sigh> I saw the price.  EEEKK!  It is NOT cheap.  But I REALLY wanted one.  So my lovely wife, Heather, got me one as an anniversary gift (happiest 12 years of my life...thanks Sweetling).  If you are wondering, I got her a digital camera.

I waited and waited for my BodyBugg to arrive for what seemed like weeks (it was in fact just a few days).  I was worried about doing the setup for it.  People on the forums talked about having to get people at their gym to set it up for them.  But I need not worry at all.  The install was easy....and soon I had my BodyBugg arm band on my arm...acting like a caloric 'big brother'.

After wearing it for a couple hours, I sync'ed it up with the web site that keeps track of all my stats.  First it shows you some bars indicating your caloric burn, caloric intake, and caloric deficit....

bars 

Which is pretty cool in itself.  Then it gives you a break down of how many calories you burn per minute....

mins

Which is really helpful because it shows how much I burn while I do different activities.  Like that large spike at around 5pm was when I was running on the treadmill.  The smaller spikes where me walking around the office at work.  And of course the long, flat area between 12am and 8am was me sleeping.

HOW COOL IS THAT!?

The site has some additional tools so you can see your averages over time and stuff like that.  And as part of the price, you get two sessions with a BodyBugg trainer to help you setup your exercise plan and interpret what the BodyBugg is telling you.  I'm not as excited about that bit...since I already have a plan suited to my lifestyle.  But having some one to answer my questions is nice.   

So I've been sporting my BodyBugg for about a week now.  I've learned all sorts of things about the different ways I can affect the rate at which I burn calories.  I don't want to post too much about it now as I don't feel that a week's worth of data is statistically significant.  So I'll hold off telling that part for now.  Maybe in about a month I'll talk about it again and give you all some results to chew on.

Progress Report 

Thanks to BodyBugg, my weight loss has picked up again.  I'm closer and closer to recovering the ground I lost.  Barring incident I should be back on track in about a month....maybe sooner.

Currently I'm 4 pounds up from my low point. 

It has been 6 weeks since I cycled my exercises for weight training.  So I had to put together a new plan.  The first week on a new plan always sucks for me.  I don't know what my new maximums are for anything.  So I spend most of my workout time figuring out how much I can lift.  I end up only getting in 1 or 2 good sets per muscle group.

NOTE:  A 'set' refers to a group of 'reps'.  A 'rep' or repetition is the common name given to the act of lifting and lowering a weight one time.  So if I do a 'bench press' at 100 pounds and I do it 10 times....I say I did a 'set' of 10 'reps' at 100 pounds....or I did a 'set' at 100.  Gym Rat Speak

press

...anyway, since my first week with a new plan is usually me figuring out how much I can actually lift, I don't get much out of it.  Second week will be better.

Some bad news...I had to go to the dentist again.  When it rains is pours...seriously....who told the Universe that I needed to spend more time in the dentist chair?  I had to get a new filling...unrelated to my previous tooth issue.  In fact I'm still waiting for my new crown to come in (next week) so I can get that put in. 

Well, I need to wrap this up and get it published.  I have an appointment with my BodyBugg trainer tonight and I want to make sure I don't miss it.  YES!  I HAVE OTHER THINGS TO DO TODAY!  I CAN'T KEEP WRITING THIS FOREVER!  GO AWAY!  AND NO FUNNY PICTURES OF DOGS TODAY!

nose HEY!  How'd you get in here?

October 02, 2007

Changing habits

As I continue on my weight loss journey, I occasionally look back and evaluate how things are going....what worked...what didn't work...and what was just plain stupid.  And one of the things that I've come to realize is part of successfully losing weight is the changing of habits. 

So I'm making a list of some of the habits that I have changed.  Keep in mind that I didn't do this all at once.  These changes came gradually. 

1.  When I was a child and had to go to the dentist, my Mom would take me out for a treat for being so good.  We always did the same thing....burger/fries/milk shake.  When I became an adult I continued with this tradition.  It wasn't really something I thought about.  After my resent trip to the dentist I felt the urge to indulge myself with a grease ball treat when I realized that this had been a bad habit that I never corrected.  I mean I COULD treat myself with a nasty hamburger....or I COULD treat myself by staying on my plan.  So I stayed on my plan and felt better about my decision than any 'comfort food' could make me feel.

2.  Like most people that would like to drop some weight, I have heard myself say, "I just don't have the time to workout."  The truth is, I just have other things that my lazy nature would rather do...like read comic books...or watch TV.  So everyday I have to make working out a number one priority.  After a couple months you don't even think about it anymore.  You just do it.  And if you find something you LIKE doing, then you end up looking forward to working out.

3.  My snacking habits have really changed....CHANGED...not GONE AWAY.  I still snack.  I am just smarter about it.  I use snacks like carrots, prunes, dried apricots.  And I know how many calories are in everything (http://www.calorieking.com).  I even have some mini cookies...oatmeal raisin.  When I drink a protein shake I crush a mini cookie and dust the top of the shake.  But gone are the chips, candy bars, ice cream from my everyday life.  I still have that stuff in the house but I only eat it on my cheat day.  I'm even at a point where I can trust myself to keep soda in the house.  Mostly I just drink water and allow myself one or two sodas on my cheat day.

4.  I stopped expecting my weight to drop dramatically, overnight.  This took forever to get into my thick head.  Healthy weight loss isn't a quick fix.  It takes hard work over a long period of time....especially when you are talking about being as overweight as I was in the beginning.  The rule of thumb for weight loss is that men can expect to lose a maximum of 2 pounds per week...women can expect about 1 pound a week.  That's an average.  I sometimes will drop 3 or 4 pounds in a week but it is usually followed by a week of only losing a pound or not losing anything at all.  Keep in mind that losing weight any faster than that probably means that in addition to burning fat, you are probably burning off some of your muscle mass as well.

NOTE:  I stopped EXPECTING my weight to drop dramatically.  I still WANT it to drop dramatically.  The point is that I realize that I'm not going to get what I want....and I have to be okay with that.

5.  Stop eating certain foods before bedtime.  I eat my last normal meal about 2 or 3 hours before bedtime.  After that, I will only eat raw veggies or my protein shake.  The veggies help give me a 'full' feeling.  The protein shake I use contains a slow burning protein that helps to protect my muscles that that long fasting time while I'm asleep.

6.  This one sort of goes back to the dentist thing...but is less specific.  One thing I used to do that I had to cut out was a thing called 'Emotional Eating'.  If you are fat, you probably know what I'm talking about.  You get all stressed out over something...you get home and you say to yourself, "I'm going to treat myself for surviving this stressful thing by ordering a pizza...which I will eat as much as I can, as fast as I can, until the pain goes away."   Sound familiar?  Yeah...I've done this a few times.  I've even arranged for my wife to be out of the house so no one would be around to stop me....or judge me.  You see, food doesn't judge...it doesn't put stress on you...it is just there to make you feel better.  At least that's what we believe.  The truth is that all this 'comfort food' is going to do is making you feel bloated in the short term and make you fat in the long term.  It IS NOT going to allow you an escape for your stress and it IS NOT going to be a true friend.  It is just junk food...and I was slowing killing myself with it.  After I changed this deadly habit I started to find that I could replace 'comfort food' with 'comfort progress'.  When I would get stressed out, I'd pull out my old fat pictures and look at how far I had come or I'm update my weight loss spreadsheet.  That 'comfort progress' does help me manage my stress and it is a true friend. 

7.  Know what goes into you.  I hated this.  I RELLY HATED THIS.  Just the idea of having to learn what was good for me and what was bad for me...and why...just seemed like too much work.  And honestly when I first started my journey I sometimes would have a full on panic attack because I WANTED to eat right but didn't know HOW to do it.  In the beginning I was so worried about what was okay for me to eat that I just wouldn't eat at all.  Yeah...that didn't go so well.  Eventually, I learned a few foods that were okay for me to eat....then a few more....then a few more...and now I'm pretty good about reading labels and understanding what they say.  I can find the hidden stuff like number of servings.  While this didn't come easy for me it eventually did become second nature.  

8.  Everyone wants me to fail...I must be vigilant.  To understand this, you really have to understand some human nature.  Without getting into too much detail, everyone has hidden feelings that they don't share with the outside world....some don't even admit it to themselves.  This is a natural part of our psyche.  It is like the fat chick that surrounds herself with fatter friends to make herself look thinner in comparison.  She doesn't really think about it...or plan to do it.  But subconsciously, she is looking to increase her chances of finding a mate and reproducing.  Knowing this, you need to be vigilant against anyone that would sabotage your progress.  Watch for people that pressure you to go out drinking....or to skip your lunchtime workout to catch a burger with friends. 

 

It doesn't make them bad people...they are just in competition with you.  If they are also fat, your progress makes them look weak.  If they are in shape, your progress shows that you might someday be in their league....and therefore a threat.  A little paranoia goes a long way in protecting yourself. paranoia

9.  Understanding the disconnect about water.  I've talked about this before.  Just about every website or book about weight loss will tout the benefits of drinking water.  But when you are used to a sugar and caffeine mixture as your main drink....water just sounds awful in comparison.  I felt this way too.  Water just didn't seem to be satisfying my needs when I drank it.  That's because it wasn't thirst I was feeling.  My body had been so accustom to caffeine and sugar that when I stopped drinking it...I suffered some withdrawal symptoms.  Jitters, sweatiness, some really awful headaches....and so on.  After about two weeks I was 'clean'.  After a couple months I didn't even have cravings for sodas.  Now, most sodas I can't drink because I find them to be too sweet...or just nasty tasting.  I can still drink an occasional Crush Orange Drink on my cheat day.  But even on that day I'm drinking mostly water. 

10.  Understanding the REAL reason that Darth Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force  femtrooper_ajc006

 Well...that makes it an even 10! 

Progress Report

No real progress this week.  I made a mistake with my calories.  Thanks goes out to Joseph for catching it before it got too far.  A couple weeks ago I replaced my last meal with some raw veggie snacks.  Mostly I did this because I didn't want to eat anything really heavy so close to my bedtime.  But in doing this I pushed my caloric intake far below where it should be.  Between that and the increased cardio workouts that I was doing, my body interrupted this as a famine and put me in starvation mode.  My weight loss STOPPED....and my metabolism slowed.

After Joseph noted that my intake was probably too low, I went back to the program I use to keep track of what I eat and sure enough...I was much lower than I thought.

So I'm going to go back to tracking everything everyday.  It only takes a few minutes and it will keep me from messing up again.  Also, Joseph introduced me to a web site that can give you a quick estimate on how many calories you should be burning daily based on weight, height, age, and exercise level.  Check it out...

Calorie Calculator

Hopefully next week will be better. 

DarthPug Darth Pug says, "Remember to use your turn signals ....now go away!"