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June 30, 2008

Taking Stock II

Lately I've been writing about me stopping to consider where I am and where I'm going with my efforts toward being more fit.  Last week I talked about walking.  Today I want to continue this self-analysis and talk about some other things that I think it is time to change.

Let's look at a bad food habit that I like to call 'breakfast'.   6

Breakfast has always been my undoing.  This is for a couple of reasons. I've always been fearful of misunderstanding what I could and couldn't eat.  And I didn't want to mess up my workouts by overloading myself with the wrong foods.  So my pre-workout breakfast has been a half glass of V8 Fusion.  Just enough carbs to get me going until my body could start to mobilize energy from my fat stores.

Lately, I've questioning if this is the best approach.  And after doing some research on the subject, it appears that I could do better with an easy change. 

One of the things I've noticed about my workout is about halfway into it, I start to lose my momentum.  By the end of the workout, I crash.

This wouldn't be so bad but my post-workout food is just a protein shake.  So I'm just getting a slow burning protein...and that has to last me for the next 3-4 hours when I finally eat lunch.  So even if I don't crash during my workout, I usually do somewhere before noon. 

This is backed up by the data from my Body Bugg that shows my burn rate drop from 1.9 calories per minute to around 1.3. 

So last week I implemented a change.  For my pre-workout, I started eating this....

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 serving of Cabot 50% cheese
  • 2 slices of 100% whole wheat bread

ted3 Or in other words....an 'egg and cheese sandwich'.  Only takes a few minutes to cook...tastes great...and so far I've stopped crashing before lunch.  The reason is that along with the protein that the eggs provide, I'm getting a slow burning carb from the wheat bread that stays with me for a long time.

This also solves another problem of me getting too many of my calories late in the day.  Now I'm getting them when I need them.

The next change that I'm making is my weigh-ins.  I weigh-in EVERYDAY.  And while I have enough sense about my body to know what the scale is telling me, it does lead to some bad habits.  Like not eating or drinking until I'm able to use the bathroom...so I can get a more accurate weight.  Which is fine to do once a week...but I was doing it everyday.  So I'm throttling back my weigh-ins to just a couple times a week.

Fame!  I Want to Live Forever!

Fame Okay...this is just for my ego...but I think it is just too cool.  I'm featured on the Ballantyne YMCA web site.

Check it out....

TFG's Moment of Fame I

And if that wasn't cool enough, I also got featured on the front page at Spark People.  Unfortunately, that link didn't stay up but for a few days and has already been replaced.  But it was fun while it lasted.

Progress Report

Big...big...big news!  Sunday I stepped on the scales and saw something amazing.  I now weigh 199 pounds.  Did you see that?  Did you see how my weight started with a ONE instead of a TWO?

Total weight loss....93 pounds!

At a party this last weekend, I saw some friends I haven't seen in...hmm....I guess its been a year...maybe a year and a half.  Anyway, one of them described me as 'tiny'.  'Tiny'...can you believe it?  Talk about an ego boost...and I still managed to weigh in at 199...even with the inflated ego.

I increased my long run to 5 miles this weekend.  First time I've EVER run that far.

Well, that does it for this week.  Tune in next week for another exciting and educational episode of 'The Adventures of Token Fat Guy'.


KetchuPug and MustPug remind us that hot dogs are okay some of the time...but remember to get ones with low fat...and not so much pug.

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

June 23, 2008

Taking Stock

Every now and then you reach a point in your diet where you need to stop and say, "What am I doing?"  That's me right now.

I've changed and tweaked my workouts so much in the last two years, I really need to figure out what I should be continuing and what needs to go by the wayside.

Walking - Oh, I loved to walk.  Mostly because its easy and I could do it anywhere.  No matter what I did for my morning workout, I'd always try to get in an hour of walking in the afternoon or evening. 

When I first started to walk, I could do it on my lunch hour.  I had a track workout in our business park that took me about 15 minutes to do...so I'd do it 4 times.  According to my Body Bugg, I was burning about 400 calories in that hour.

I haven't been walking much lately since my running has taken more and more time from my other fitness efforts.  Last Saturday I was feeling a bit nostalgic.  So I did my old walk to burn off some extra calories.  At the end of the walk, I checked my Body Bugg to see how I did.  The same hour walk that used to burn 400 calories now only burns 250 calories.  Hardly worth the effort, really.

Why the change?  Well, its fitness.  My body has been in training for the last two years (nearly two years) and has gotten good at what I'm doing.  So I what I used to have to put real effort into can now be done with casual strength.  Also, I'm just plain lighter now.  So there is a massive difference between keeping my new 200 pound body in motion and the Herculean effort needed to push 292 pounds of Robert through his paces.

Definition: Herculean - a. Of unusual size, power or difficulty. b. Of or relating to Hercules. One of my favorite words.

 hercules  <---Hercules! Hercules!

So I say good-bye to walking for now.  I'll probably still do it from time to time but it won't be part of my 'work out time' any longer. 

Progress Report

I'm kind of stuck at 200 pounds for now as my body gets accustom to being this weight.  I'd like to get to drop just one more pound and be done with the 200s...but it will come in time. 

Last week I increased my long run to 4 miles.

That's it...keeping it short this week.  I'd like to that all the people that keep up with my blog.  Your words of encouragement keep me going....

Now I need to get this posted before the storm knocks out the power again.

Spider-Pug says, "Get out and get in some exercise!"


NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

June 16, 2008

92 Pound Blog

It finally happened.  I stepped on the scales Sunday and found that my weight was down to 200 pounds.  Which makes my total loss 92 pounds.

Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile know that every 10 pounds or so I try to get some perspective on my weight loss by looking at things that weigh as much as I've lost.  Such blog entries are.....

So let's take a look at some things that weigh 92 pounds

First let's take a look at a segment from the show 'Maury'.

The following picture of Darin Open shows him holding his prize catch, a bighead carp weighing 92 pounds.  Opel had shot this monster with his compound bow, jumped into the water, got him into a bearhug, and fought him all the way to the shore.

Ironically, Darin is allergic to fish. 644-big_fish_1_standalone_prod_affiliate_98

The Larin METS-1 Mobile Engine Testing Station costs $579.99 and weighs 92 pounds.  It is ideal for testing, break-in, leak detection, demonstration, assembly, and detailing.  A 'must have' for automotive shops, racing teams, schools, and hot rod enthusiasts. 41PnzqHejfL__SS500_

Shown in use here...11mside 

...this 11m RHIB Vented Boat Cover by JHRG can be rolled up and 'easily' carried.  The protective covering weighs 92 pounds.  Now you just need big guy to tote it for you...


The ORBCOMM satellite operates twenty-nine satellites in six orbital planes that provide worldwide coverage.  Here on Earth this marvel of technology weighs 92 pounds.orbcomm2

The 'Joshua Kennels' is home to many American Bulldogs.  One of the favorite 'studs' is Apache, who is known for his high intelligence.  And, of course, he weighs in at 92 pounds.S8001301

The first American to fly in space, Alan Shepard, was also one of 12 people to walk on the moon.  During is historic moon walk, he collected rocks and soil samples that when brought back to Earth weighed 92 pounds.Alan_Shepard_Autopen_Litho_large

While we are talking about history, the first portable electric vacuum was invented in 1905 by Chapman and Skinner in San Francisco. It weighed 92 pounds and used a fan 18 inches in diameter to produce the suction. app_skinner1905

Progress report

After my birthday 5k, I've been taking it easy on the running this week....giving my legs some recovery time.  But yesterday I ran 3 miles and tried to keep my heart rate between 138 and 145 bpm.

Speaking of running...I made a mistake at my 5k.  They give you a 'chip' to attach to your shoe so they can record your start time and stop time.  I say GIVE...but really it is a loan.  I didn't know that.  Its still tied to my running shoe.  A couple days ago I got a nasty email from them saying they were going to bill me for it if I didn't bring it back.  Oops...my bad.

While looking at this picture, one of my coworkers asked me if I had gotten lap band surgery.  I told him 'no', but took it as a compliment.


TFG Makes Surprise Gym Visit

Its nice to reach a point where the entire gym staff not only knows you but also knows what you normally do.  Last week a couple of the staff at the YMCA commented when I came in to do weightlifting.  I normally do all my lifting at home, so this was an unexpected occurrence. 

The reason was the air conditioner in my house went out and it was just too hot to do a proper workout.  So I took my workout check list and implemented 'plan B'.  When it comes to your daily workout, I think it is important to have a 'plan B' in case life throws you a curve.  Otherwise, it is just too easy to take off a day.

That's about it for this week.  Biker-Dog says, "Remember to walk your dog...or I'll BITE YOU."


NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

June 09, 2008

Its My Birthday!

I walk up to the line. 

My memories drift back to just two short years ago.  I know I've written about it before, but it was a major turning point in my life.

I had failed so many times in my previous attempts at weight loss.  But I figured I had one more try left in me.  I was walking quite a bit in the beginning as anything more strenuous would just be too hard on my overloaded joints.

As I was starting my nightly walk, I spied my neighbor taking his dog out for a walk too.  My neighbor is an older gentleman...I figured I would be able to keep up with him without issue.

Big mistake...

After just a couple of blocks, I was huffing and sweating and having trouble keeping my dinner down, let alone keeping up with him.  Meanwhile, he's apologizing to me about having to go so slow.  His dog's arthritis was apparently acting up. 

By the time I got home, I legs were on fire.  Joints crying out in pain as I gingerly went down the stairs.  That old man and his arthritic dog really put me through my paces.  It was a week before my legs stopped aching.

But I made a vow that it would change...that I would change.  That was nearly two years ago.

And now I'm walking up to the line.  No time to think about the past.  I need to be focused....I need to live in the now.

Its my first 5K race...I'm excited....I'm nervous...I really didn't expect this many people.

The race starts...I want to run fast...faster...but I know I need to resist.  I need to keep a slow, even pace or I will burn out before the halfway mark....but it is SO TEMPTING.  I pass just a couple people...then a couple more.  I've passed a dozen people before I realize I'm going too fast. 

Close my eyes....and breathe...slow it down...okay...that's better.  Don't get upset if anyone passes you...you will probably catch them.  Keep an eye on your heart rate...don't let it get to high.

Okay...that's better.  Feeling fine...oh...there's the first mile mark.  That was fast...

Still feeling good...heart is up a bit higher than I like...relax...breath easy....okay...that's better.

Next thing I know, I'm at the half way mark.  This is where I slow it down to a walk...give my heart a chance to slow down some.  Just a minute of walking...that's all I need.

Then back into a good steady run...the people that passed me while I was walking are now behind me.

There's the two mile mark.  Yeah, I can do this.  I'm going to finish this thing.  No pain so far...feeling good...keeping just a bit of energy in reserves...going to need it soon.

Then it happens....I round the last turn...I can see the finish line.  Everything outside the race disappears...I don't see the crowd of people watching us....I only see the finish...  I dig deep and pull out the last of what I have left....and start to sprint.  A full out run...everything I have, and everything I am....all in one last burst of speed. 

I'm half way to the finish line now....I can feel the last of my energy starting to wane.  There is a nagging feeling to stop....stop...catch your breath....you just need a minute to rest.  Just a minute...  My vision widens just a bit...I see my lovely wife cheering me on.

I don't listen to my body...I refuse to stop...or even slow down...the finish is so close...so close....

...and it is behind me.  I DID IT!  But now I can't keep my breath in ...can't catch my breath.  I'm sure I've made a horrible mistake.  I've sprinted before but never this long.

I try to walk it off...slowly my lungs fill up again as my breathing slows.  Okay...I'm going to live.

Later, I get my time... 33minutes and 27seconds.

It took me 2 years, but I'm pretty sure that now I can beat that old man and his arthritic dog.

Progress Report

I ran a 5k.  What more do you want?  Oh...here's a picture of me after the race.... 


Yeah...I wore a TFG shirt for the race!

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

June 02, 2008

Happy to be Overweight

I'm happy to be overweight!  You heard me right, I'm happy to be overweight and I don't care who knows it.

Think I've gone nuts?  Read on, an explanation is coming.

Back in the 1980s, Body Mass Index (BMI) became the widely recognized standard for the measurement of obesity.

This isn't news...people that struggle with their weight talk about BMI all the time.  I've posted a couple of blog entries on it.  But for those of you new to the struggle, you can calculate your BMI either by using this formula...

BMI=kg/m2 (where kg=weight in kilograms and m=height in meters)

...or by using one of the many online BMI calculators that are available on the Internet.

Once you have your BMI, you can see what your classification is by using this chart...blchart

When I was at my heaviest (292 pounds), I was 'Obese Class III'...the worst on the chart.  Back in October, I dropped down to 'Obese Class II' and in January of this year I dropped down to 'Obese Class I'....

Obese Class I

At my official weigh-in on Sunday, I saw the scales display 201.0 pounds!  I've been waiting for this for a long time.  I know what the number means!  Using the BMI calculation, I am NO LONGER CONSIDERED OBESE!!! 

Now I am simply overweight.  So yes, I'm happy to be overweight.....very happy indeed!  Happydog NOTE:  I actually got off the obese list when I hit 202 pounds, but I lost an extra pound this week.

Reality Check

While the BMI scale is widely accepted, it has also taken some heat from numerous pundits.  Mostly because it doesn't tell the whole story.  Since it doesn't differentiate between muscle weight and weight from fat, extremely athletic people, like football players and body builders, show up as being obese.

It also doesn't do well with the very old.  As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and bone.  So some one very old can actually be carrying around more fat than some one younger than they are.

So it isn't a perfect measurement...and it shouldn't be used solely to gauge your overall health.  But it is a good starting place for people that want to track their progress as they slowly work at transforming their bodies from fatty to hottie.

Progress Report

What?  Weren't you paying attention?  I hit a major milestone!  Weighed in at 201 pounds.  Total weight lost....91 pounds.  I've come a long way from my couch potato days....


Mystery of the Earring

I changed my earring back in December and for some reason I've had a bunch of people ask about it in the last few weeks.  Everyone thinks that it is bigger.  The only reason I can come up with is that I'm smaller...so the earring looks bigger in comparison.

Well, that's about it for this week.  Be sure to check back next week when I'm sure I'll have some INCREDIBLE news.

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.