Weight Loss Ticker

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bike Ride

Yesterday was the first time I rode out to our lighthouse in a couple of years. It took me a little over an hour. Angelfish24 inspired me to take some pictures along the way. I love living near the bay. I never get tired of the view. However, taking pictures while riding my bike almost resulted in a few accidents.

This is the bike which holds my hefty frame.

This is river along the way to the lake.

This is the bay. Way out on the horizon in the middle is the lighthouse. It looks more like a little white blip in this picture.

Here I am riding through town.

This is the road through the woods to the lighthouse.

As I ride through these woods, I am getting pelted with these little swarming insects that are like mini mayflies. I can't remember what they are called, but they don't taste very good.

Now I am in the state park where the lighthouse is.

Here is the lighthouse.

I am near the lighthouse looking across the bay toward town. I think it's right where the sun is so I could not see the town very well.

Here is the view from the other side of the lighthouse. This is Lake Huron. In the summer, Lake Huron is nice cold. The bay is like warm bath water.

I didn't take any pictures on the way back, as I was cutting in close to get back in time for the kid's year end program and my second daughter's kindergarten graduation. They were cute, but sitting on a metal folding chair for over an hour after a bike ride was awful. My butt was soooooooo sore...and itchy. I was thankful when it was over.

Addendum: I got the bright idea to have a picnic at the lighthouse today. I would ride my bike there while the rest came in the mini-van. Riding out, I noticed that there did not seem to be too many bugs out. When I met everyone there, we found the bugs. They were just swarming us out by the lighthouse. There were a ton of no-see-ums as well. They kept getting all over the food. Yucko!

Mental Note: No picnics while bugs are swarming.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Week 17 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 322.4 lbs. This is a 1.6 lb. loss from last week and a total of 57.6 lbs. total. So much for the 2 week cycle theory. I must admit I am disappointed. I thought for sure I lose 4 lbs. or more this week.

Oh well, I have nothing to complain about. 1.6 lb. is a respectable loss in my book. I am certainly not dissuaded. Just the opposite is true. I am determined to keep going. For me it is not just about the weight loss. It's about fitness. The weight loss figures pretty heavily into the over all goal of fitness. I know that I have been eating healthy and I am committed to an exercise routine. This has changed my life in more ways than weight loss.

1. I actively play more with my kids.
2. I get outside more.
3. I am riding my bike again.
4. As I plan my day, I do so with exercise and healthy eating in mind.
5. I have found a great group of supportive people online (You!).
6. I am fitting into smaller clothes.
7. Though I am having my ups and downs, I am dealing with stress much better than I would have before.
8. Instead of wondering how fat I will get, I wonder how long it will take to get to a healthy weight.
9. Instead of fearing getting all the medical problems that come with obesity and an early death, I think about enjoying a nice long life, God willing.
10. I am being a good role model for my children.

In other words, the slow down on the scale cannot undo all those things (and probably more which I just didn't think of at the moment). Certainly losing the weight is of great importance to me. I can hardly call myself fit when I weigh so much. However, I am living a fit lifestyle. This is the way I now live my life. The weight will continue to come off and I will get fit!

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Seven Albums

Captain tagged me for seven top albums. You will see that my tastes are quite ecclectic. With only seven albums, this will give you a small sampling of my tastes. Here they are in no particular order (not all the videos correspond to the albums):

St. Anger by Metallica

Noel by Canadian Brass

Mass in B Minor by Bach (Not quite a modern album, but I think it's equivalent to what an album would have been back then)

"Nuf Said" by Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson

Down in Birdland by Manhattan Transfer

Vault by Def Leppard

Supernatural by Santana

Monday, May 21, 2007

Week 16 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 324 lbs. This is 1 lbs. less than last week for a total of 56 lbs. lost.

I always expected a slow down, but it seems like I am on a 2 week cycle. 1 week big loss, 1 week little loss. Go figure. Anyhow, I am happy that I am losing. This could have been a lot different this week.

I attended 2 parties this weekend. The one on Saturday, I did as well as I could considering the limited choices of food. The one on Sunday did not go as well. Instead of limiting myself to 1 plate and no dessert, I had 2 plates and cake. I don't know if that impacted my weigh-in this morning. I doubt it. I did not eat a lunch or dinner or dinner outside that meal. After eating all that, I felt uncomfortably full. I ate way too much at one sitting. I had not done that in a looong time. I don't want to fall back into that habit.

As I analyze what happened, I ignored myself. What I mean is that I knew I should not go back for another plate, but I did anyhow. I knew I should not have the cake, but I did anyhow. What has stopped me in the past was knowing that I could easily get by without going back. After I got the second plate and sat down, I thought to myself that I felt full and should not eat anything more. I ignored myself and ate anyhow. The same happened with the cake.

By ignoring myself, I showed no self-respect. That is what upsets me the most about yesterday even though I did not realize it until this morning. I went back and re-read my post on self-respect. I think I need to read that every time I am going to a party, out to eat, etc...

This week I will respect myself. I will have several challenges this week. I am going out of town for a few days, so I will end up eating out. Sunday, we are scheduled to get together with friends for an Sunday Buffet Brunch. Monday, we are going to the in-laws for a Memorial Day meal/birthday party for my 3rd daughter. With all these challenges, I am going to read that post before every meal this week.

BTW, stress levels have slackened up a bit. Some of the people that made this year so stressful are still around but the issues over which they gave me stress are resolved. Hip, Hip, Hooray!!!! I can feel the difference already. My feelings of stress on a scale of 1-10 went from a 12 down to an 8. Heh, I might even start drinking coffee again.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Home Gym

I have belonged to gyms in the past. They were fine. I only had a couple of problems with them. The first is that unless you get there at an off hour, you can expect to wait for every piece of equipment you want to use. Second, you must figure in a lot more time than the actual workout. You need to drive there, change, workout, shower, change, and drive back. That is not to mention all the chit-chat time. I find it much more convenient to have a home gym.

I use workout videos for much of my cardio. I also have a recumbent stationary bike, a ski machine, and regular bike. I have not used the ski machine in a long time since it is rated up 250 lbs. I use the recumbent and now that the weather is nice, I am using my regular bike as much as possible.

For weight training, I have a bench with an adjustable back. I have dumbbells up to 35 lbs. This is not nearly enough. I am hoping to save up some money to buy some power blocks. Then I can get rid of all the dumbbells. I also have a pair of 5 lbs. ankle weights. I admit that there were machines at the gym that made working some muscles easier than using dumbbells.

Anyhow, I was wondering if any of you have home gyms, and what equipment you find useful and what you have found were duds.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sample of What I Eat

Breakfast (8AM):
1-1/2 cups of steel cut oats
3/4 cup of Eggbeaters fried up with some onions in a few drops of olive oil
16 ounces water

Snack (11 AM):
1 bag of 100 calorie popcorn

Lunch (12:30):
Whole grain pita
low-fat turkey lunch meat
low-fat cheese lettuce
celery sticks
16 ounces water

Snack (3 PM):
1 cup of lowfat yogurt
1 cup of Kashi cereal

Dinner (5:30):
salad with lots of veggie goodness
wife's olive oil based homemade dressing
chicken breast
cooked veggies (green beans/asparagus/broccoli)
1 Kiwi (the fruit,lol)
16 ounces water
1 small glass of red wine

Snack (6:30):
sugar-free, fat-free fudgicle (sometimes)

That's basically it. It changes from day to day, but I basically try to stick to high fiber, low fat, low sugar foods following the food pyramid. I don't count anything. I don't count calories, points, carbs, fats, sugars, etc... I do read labels. I do try to watch my portions.

I feel like I eat a lot every day. I do feel hungry when I eat. My body/mind has had to learn what true hunger feels like. Before, I thought I was hungry when I wasn't full. Therefore, I ate to feel full. Unfortunately, my capacity for food intake increased. I could eat an awful lot without feeling full. Now, I eat because I feel hungry. But, I still have to watch it. Because, I could easily stuff myself and not realize it. However, I now hate feeling full. It makes me uncomfortable.

One more thing I should mention is that I have a daily exercise routine which consists of at least one hour of cardio 6 days a week and 30-60 minutes of weight training 4 days a week.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Week 15 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 325 lbs. This is a loss of 4.8 lbs. for the week and a total of 55 lbs.

Living fit has paid off in the weight department, but even better it has paid off with my family. I took the kids to the park yesterday to give my wife a little time to herself. I played with the kids and they loved it. We had a lot of fun. The littlest one (2 yrs old) was taking a nap at home while I had the others at the park. She was awake when we got home. So, I put the baby seat on my bike and took her for a nice brisk ride around the neighborhood. This was her first bike ride with me and was giggling the whole ride. Yes Spider, the bike held up with my weight + her 35 lbs. This benefit of living fit far outweighs the excitement of weight loss.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Biking and Butt Pain

One of my favorite exercises is to go biking. The stationary bike is okay, but getting outdoors, riding through the woods, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine is what gets my juices flowing. Yesterday, I got a chance to work it into my exercise routine. It was great except it was too cold. I don't like having to put on jackets and sweat pants to bike. None the less, I loved it.

BUT it did remind me of one of the hazards of bike riding while obese. My butt started hurting. Then, I started to lose feeling. After a few weeks, the pain will get more bearable. It's worth the trade off, but I will have a pain in my butt all summer.

A few other butt pains will be gone in a few weeks, but those are work related. It's amazing how one or two people can make you miserable. I know that I shouldn't let others affect me so much, but they do. I could have a thousand people tell me that they like my work, but if one or two people don't, I obsess about it. I have always been that way. Anyhow, in a few weeks these pains in the butt should be gone.

I have been eating as healthy as I could this week. I had a conference on Tuesday at which the food was not too healthy. I did the best I could. Tomorrow, I take the family for a Mother's Day buffet. I am going to stick to one plate of food and split the dessert with my kids (which means I will get one or two bites before they completely devour it).

I have stuck fairly closely to my exercise routine except for Tuesday. Physically, I am feeling good and healthy. Mentally, I am still a bit down. I don't feel as bad as I did on Wednesday and Thursday. I am pretty sure it's just from feeling overwhelmed by life.

Well, exercise, work, then yard work are on the schedule for today. I hope I get a little time to play with the kiddos too.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Feeling Down

Yesterday and today I have been feeling a bit down. It's not that I virtually lost no weight last week. I am still motivated, excited, and happy about living a fit lifestyle. I think it has to do with everything else going on in my life which I mentioned a bit in a previous post.

So far, I have done just a bit all I can do as far as planning for the future, but I feel like I am in limbo. Patience...or at least waiting is not one of my virtues. In addition, I am frustrated by all the things I cannot do because of my current situation. I simply lack the time.

I want to load up the family in the van and go for a long drive to some place nice and never come back......

Obviously, escaping is not the answer. I am sure I will get over it. I guess that with over 3 months of eating right and exercising, I would stop getting in these moods.

Living Fit is my #1 Job!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Week 14 Weigh-In

Today, I weighed 329.8 lbs. This is a 0.2 lbs loss from last week and a total of 50.2 lbs. I am a little disappointed, but only a little. Having hurt some muscle in my upper back last week, I ditched my exercise routine in order to heal up. The problem was that I ate about the actually, I ate worse because I ate out 6 times last week. Holy Cow! I didn't realize that until I just counted it all up. I was out of town a lot last week. While I did not make horrible food choices at the restaurants, I could have done better. Without the exercise, I was not able to compensate and lose a bit more last week. Anyhow, with all that eating out, I am much happier about the 0.2 lbs loss.

Saturday, I mowed the lawn, and yesterday, I did a bit of yard work. I mostly worked on getting rid of this nasty vine that was growing on the garage. It got under the siding, and it had a million roots and shoots everywhere. It took quite a bit of cutting, tugging, and pulling. I have a feeling I will be fighting with this plant for a long time, as I am sure I did not get all the roots. Anyhow, the end result was that my back is sore again.

I am still going ahead with my exercise routine. Hopefully, I won't make it any worse. I think I can at least ride the stationary bike without hurting it. I will try lifting some weights, but I will need to gauge whether that is doing more harm than good at the moment.

Finally, my meeting last week went pretty much as I expected. He gave me a few things to do in order to move down with dad. Jobs are scarce these days in the Detroit area, so I have my work cut out for me. Right now I have three leads. Two of those, I just have to wait and see what happens. The other, I need to start pursuing this week. That was really the first milestone. The second will be to discuss the matter with my current employer. The third will be to actively seek a job. The fourth will be to procure a position. The finish line will be to pack up and move. A feel a little less stressed knowing that the ball is starting to roll.

Over all, I am feeling pretty good right now. Not a stellar week for fitness or weight-loss, but I am motivated to turn that around this week. My future employment is not certain, but things are moving in the right direction. My kids have been a little antsy with me gone so much, but school will be out soon, and the whole family will be able to come with me. Now, it's all seems to be a matter of timing.

Living Fit is My #1 Job!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

No Whiners

I think I have whined a lot on this blog. But life for me is not all horrible. All in all, I have it really good. Sure, I have a lot of stress right now, but even so, I do have a job, a loving wife, healthy kids, a few luxuries. While not rich, we are not poor. Spiritually, I am on the right road. Mentally...well...I do okay. Now, I am going in the right direction physically.

It seems easy to complain anonymously in the nether regions of cyberspace. Losing a few pounds and getting fit are not my only joys or happiness in life. However, they are a catalyst for making a lot of other good things even better.

Now for the whine!
So after a great weigh-in on Monday, I woke up early Tuesday morning with a horrible pain in my upper back between my shoulders. I could not move my neck from side to side (try driving like that), and could not even pull on or off a shirt without great pain. There was not comfortable position, but laying down was the worst. I think it must have been a muscle cramp. Only, I still have it. I have been taking Motrin and last night, my wife put a heating pad on it. The heating pad put me to sleep quickly, but when I woke, my back felt much better. This morning it aches again, but I will use the heating pad today. Hopefully between that and the Motrin, I will be rid of this.

Needless to say, I have not kept up with my exercise routine this week. I fully intended to step it up this week, having been motivated by my weigh-in. Oh well, I will be happy to be rid of this pain.

I seem to have a problem with getting hurt when I start exercising. It's not even necessarily related to the exercising. It seems like as far back as I can remember in my adult life that when I start getting serious about exercising, I get injured. Often, I get a sprained ankle (a left over side affect from a football injury). Other times, I hurt my lower back...usually picking something up the wrong way. This time around, I had the ear infection and now this muscle cramp. It won't stop me. It never has in the past. I always get past them and continue exercising. However, it is aggravating.

Along with that goes the fear of going in the wrong direction weight-wise. After all, my eating habits have been formed around a regular exercise routine. Without that energy output, its hard to decrease the energy input for just a week. Oh well..this too will pass.
Okay, I payed the 5 bucks and my whining done!

Tomorrow is the big day. I meet with the bigwig in my profession and will get the ball rolling wherever it will go. After tomorrow, I should be able to take some action to move things along in the right direction. The holding pattern will be over, but the landing will still take a few months at the least. I am nervous and excited. I will report more on this afterward if I can.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!