Wednesday, 26 September 2012

WEEK 37 - Moving Again

Week 37 | September 25, 2012 | Weight 248.2 | Loss of 3.7 lbs | Total Loss: 62.4

I'm finally moving in the right direction!  This past summer was the worst when it came to my weight loss journey.  At the beginning of the year, we didn't get to do a lot of outside activities as it was way too cold but when the summer hit, it was BBQ and backyard camp fires!  Once we took our scheduled vacation and break from dieting, I went back to eating pretty healthy again but every now and then a bad habit would sneak back in such as hitting up a fast food place once a week when we should have made home cooked.

While I didn't gain any during this time, I didn't lose any either.  I was bouncing around the 250's all summer long and now it seems I'm finally into the 240's and plan to stay there.  We're completely back on track to where we were before vacation this summer and eating the same way we did as well.  Exercise took a nose dive and I'm starting to get back into that regularly too.

My wife made her first goal and she is finally in the "Normal" weight category!  WOW!  At almost 50 pounds lost I am very, very proud of her and can't tell you how amazing she looks!  Perhaps this picture from her last 5k race will do :)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

WEEK 36 - Birthday!

Week 36 | September 18, 2012 | Weight 251.9 | Loss of 2.8 lbs | Total Loss: 58.7

I am dedicating this post to my daughter.  Today is her 11th birthday so Happy Birthday princess!  Along with a great day for a birthday, I've even lost weight!  And I'm sort of surprised by that because of all the pizza and potato wedges I ate over the weekend.  OMG pizza!  My daughter had a sleep over for her birthday so 8 pre-teen kids were sugared up and looking for food.  5 pizzas came to the door along with chicken wings, breadsticks, potato wedges, pasta and more.

Needless to say I piggied out along with the kids LOL.  It was not one of my better moments but I still somehow managed to drop a couple of pounds during the whole ordeal so that's great!  I'll have to admit that during the week I am eating quite well, under my calorie budget every day.  I just have to get my weekends back in check and I think I'll break into the 240's and stay there!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

WEEK 35 - Sick!

Week 35 | September 11, 2012 | Weight 254.7 | Gain of 3.9 lbs | Total Loss: 55.9

Last week was horrible!  I was sick in bed all week long.  I couldn't even get the energy to get up and weigh in.  This also meant very few home cooked meals.  My wife's father took sick as well so she spent a lot of time in the hospital so we were pretty screwed the entire week when it came to the diet front.

That said, we still had to eat, and the kids had to eat so it was fast food pretty much all week long.  Not good!  I started feeling better on the weekend and while I still have a lingering cough I'm able to get to work and cook some meals once again so now it's time to hit it hard!  I am determined to break back into the 240's and STAY THERE!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

WEEK 33 - Bam!

Week 33 | August 28, 2012 | Weight 250.8 | Loss of 3.1 lbs | Total Loss: 59.8

Now that's what I'm talkin about!  Excellent loss and puts me right back on track (even this morning's private weigh in brings me back under 250!).   So now I'm right back to where I was prior to vacation.  Whew!  That was a bit of effort but happily I feel like I did before I started in on the smorgasbord of eating during vacation.  I don't feel a desire to hit up Wendy's once again and I even started back running.

On Monday I ran Week 4, Day 2 on the C25K program and it was tough, but I completed it and I'm very happy I did.  I'm going to try and keep going because I enjoy the way I feel when I'm doing it.  My wife keeps encouraging me to enter a 5k race (she's done 2 already) and I most likely will, but will wait till next spring before I sign up for any.  I still feel like a fat guy and by medical standards I still am, but I am defiantly going in the right direction!  With luck and hard work, perhaps I will enter my first 5k race early next year.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Week 32 - Get off the Couch!

Week 32 | August 21, 2012 | Weight 253.9 | Loss of 1.8 lbs | Total Loss: 56.7

OMG Where does the summer go?!  It's been way too long since I last posted and I'm such a bad boy for neglecting this blog.  I guess that just made me no different than many others who try this journey.  Anyway, after a couple of weeks off I'm now happily back on track.  I'm losing again and (yes I know late post for this week) as of this moment, I'm only a pound away from where I was before vacation started.

I've learned that 2-3 weeks of eating VERY badly takes almost double that amount of time to get back to normal (for me anyway).  My wife is already back on track and below her last weigh in before vacation.  Good job!

I discovered that during vacation it was just too easy to hit up fast food and overeat.  It was plain and simple.  I even recorded most of the days in Lose It and I can see it right there in RED - I ate TOO MUCH!  That habit is gone once again and I'm back to my regular routine.  The only part missing right now is the exercising which I must get into.  I've decided to not go hard like I did as that's not maintainable.  I'm going to workout 3-4 times a week which will be a mix of strength training and running.  I found that not to be too difficult to achieve vs trying to work out 5-6 days a week.  Now.. let the fat fly once again!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

WEEK 29 - Vacation Ouch!

Week 29 | July 31, 2012 | Weight 255.5 | Gain of 6.2 lbs | Total Loss: 55.1

So we're finally back from vacation and wow!  Thinking back about what I ate during it and it was pretty insane.  Large bags of chips, chocolate bars, giant steaks, burgers galore and then the fast food.  A few trips to Wendy's for some triple baconaters and fries!  I can't even count the number of times we hit fast food joints.  Then of course there was the copious amounts of booze.  Yeah, 6.2 pounds after all that?  No shocker there.

That said, we had a fantastic time away and break.  My wife gained more than I did but it's starting to slowly come off again now that we are eating clean.  It wasn't too difficult getting back into the routine and even though we were not weighing ourselves during vacation, we knew it was time to stop and couldn't actually wait to get back to good clean eating.

Running on the other hand, now that's going to take a bit more effort.  I haven't had a run in a few weeks now and I've got myself another week of vacation but I'm just hanging home with the kids relaxing so there's no need for the fast food and eating clean is easy to do while I'm here.  That said, I plan to attempt a new run starting next week.  This coming weekend is our August long weekend so I can't promise I won't eat poorly this weekend as it marks the official end to my vacation but I am ready to get back at it full steam ahead!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

WEEK 25 - Rebound

Week 25 | July 3, 2012 | Weight 249.3 | Loss of 0.7 lbs | Total Loss: 61.3

So it looks like I've lost the weight I gained last week which is great!  I didn't do so well this past weekend but I didn't mind.  It was a 4 day weekend for me and we celebrated Canada Day here so eating right wasn't a top priority but I didn't go overboard and probably still feeling some effects from last week's BBQ.

That said I'm doing my best to eat lean and clean this week because vacation starts next week which is going to be pretty much two weeks of gluttony LOL.  I won't have access to a scale on weigh in day next week nor will I have access to a computer the entire time (phone coverage if I'm lucky).

I fully intend to hit the routine hard when we get back but until then, it's going to be interesting to see what these next two weeks will bring.  I'm hoping the past 7 months have caused me to develop some good eating habits so I won't become the eating machine I once was.  We'll see by the extent of the damage this will cause but that's ok, it's what vacation is all about hehe!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

WEEK 24 - Running and BBQ!

Week 24 | June 26, 2012 | Weight 250.0 | Gain of 0.7 lbs | Total Loss: 60.6

Well it's official - the first gain in 24 weeks!  Yes, I've had ups and downs and gains and losses but this is the first time a gain has appeared ON my weigh in day.  Funny how that happens LOL.  Anyway, after this past weekends events, I am not surprised.

This past weekend was my wife's first 5k race.  I never expected anyone in my family to be able to do anything quite like this.  It was exciting and fun and energetic!  Even though it was raining and I wasn't the one running LOL.   She placed in the top 10% of all the runners and I am so very very proud of her!  She is an amazing woman and pushes herself to her limits on a regular basis.  She motivates me to be better than I am!  Great job babe!

Afterward, that evening, we had a BBQ and it was the day my wife and I planned to take off from thinking about what we ate.  So let's see, what did I have?

  • Smokies
  • Meatballs
  • Salami
  • Cheese
  • Ritz
  • Ruffles Chips
  • Doritos
  • Salmon
  • Steak Kabobs
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Strawberries
  • Marshmallows
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Peanuts
  • Chocolate
  • Beer
  • More Beer
  • Shooters
  • Lots of other various drinks LOL
So yeah, it was a big party and it was a blast!  

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

WEEK 23 - Memory

Week 23 | June 19, 2012 | Weight 249.3 | Loss of 2.2 lbs | Total Loss: 61.3

What a wonderful milestone!  It's been 13 years since I've weighed this much.  I remember it well because it was a turning point in my life.  The last time I weighed in the 249 area, I was putting a wedding ring on the hand of my beloved wife.

It was a beautiful day and I had no idea what was ahead of me other than I was hand in hand with the person I wanted to travel the earth with.  I also had no idea the pounds I was going to put on over the next 13 years either LOL.  That said, I'm back to the weight from that day and I'm happy to say that I'm not done yet!  Nope - while I was a big boy even in my mid 20's during my wedding day, I still have more of this journey to take and I fully intend to keep going.

My ultimate goal will see me at a weight when I was 20 years old.  So, I hope you all find someone to travel with like I have and here's to the journey!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

WEEK 22 - Summer

Week 22 | June 12, 2012 | Weight 251.5 | Loss of 1.8 lbs | Total Loss: 59.1

Wow!  It's only now that I am blogging I realize the amount of things that are going on in my life that keeps me busy and how the time of year impacts that so much.  Now that the weather isn't keep us stuck in the house as much, we're out and about doing things a LOT more often which also keeps me away from the computer more than I realize.  What can I say - another late posting!

Anyway, my wife and I discovered a habit that we've formed that really has to stop.  On the weekdays, we usually go to bed pretty early because we have to get up when the alarm goes off to get moving for work and kids off to school and all that stuff but on the weekends, there's really no time requirement for us to get to bed.  We'll get up when we get up sort of thing.  That said, it seems that it never fails that Friday and Saturday night, around 11:30 pm or so, we get the munchies.  This usually causes us to cook up something (happily this doesn't turn into a ordered meal like it did in the past) but it still turns into a second supper.  Of course we start off well intended to cut up some fruit and make a nice platter but then in walks the other problem - we have a few drinks on the weekend.  Now before you even say it, I'm a newfie which means don't bother asking me to give up my drinks on the weekend because that's just not going to happen, though at least I'm not downing calorie rich beers - I've kept it to diet soda pop and light rum.   Anyway, this means that preparing something that doesn't come out of a box and in the oven for 8 minutes (aka frozen pizza) usually falls to the wayside.

So for the next few weekends we've decided to try and prepare a fruit platter AHEAD of time.  Then, when the 11:30 pm urge hits, we just go to the fridge and grab the platter and instead of eating a bunch of pizza, we're eating a bunch of fruit.  Here's to hoping this helps with those uncontrolled weekend snack attacks.

Oh, and I'm still very pleased with my loss :)

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

WEEK 21 - Don't Starve!

Week 21 | June 6, 2012 | Weight 253.3 | Loss of 2.2 lbs | Total Loss: 57.3

Sorry for the late post.  I've been sick for the past couple of days and just hadn't gotten myself into it.  That said, I've been doing my very best to keep eating normally as per my regular routine and see another great loss.  I'm feeling much better now and did not put any back on which is great.

I wanted to dedicate this post to some people that are a little confused about this "diet".  First and foremost, I am not dieting.  I have "a" diet that I follow pretty well most of the time which consists of healthy eating with portion control but by no means am I hungry or starving or craving anything.  After 6 months now, I'm in a pretty good groove and my body is very happy with it.

The next point I'd like to make is that IF you are going to diet, don't starve or deprive yourself - doing so will only lead to failure.  Sure you're going to lose the first 20 from water and by going hungry, but your body WILL fight you on this.  Here is an example:  I eat over 2300 calories per day.  My wife, who is 5' 4" and less than 155 pounds, eats over 1700 calories per day.  We BOTH are losing weight regularly.  Why?  Because we don't cheat and go over by a ton.  It's easy not to cheat because we get plenty of calories each day to satisfy pretty much most things we want.  Heck, I'm having pizza tonight and I have it every Wednesday night LOL.

I'm seeing people who are 6 feet tall, over 200 pounds and a calorie limit between 1000 and 1500 each day.  Are you insane?  You're depriving yourself and you can't and won't sustain it.  Yes, you'll lose for a while just like every magazine cover you see at the grocery store on how to lose 20 pounds in weeks!  Yes you will do that very thing and that's how, BUT after that, you will be in for trouble.  You'll plateau and will just end up fighting your body, cheat due to the deprivation and fail.  Don't starve yourself - you don't need to.

My advice to you is before you even change your lifestyle is to just count the calories you are eating.  Eat the same way you always do, and just count them - accurately.  I find it amusing that I told someone recently to actually measure their food and find out the proper calorie and nutrition information rather than use someone elses database and sure enough, the next day, I see them log 5 ounces of chicken that was 75 calories wrong.  Sigh.  Yes, your budget is too low, but in your case it won't matter because you're not counting accurately anyway LOL.

Don't diet - change your life!  What I'm eating today, I'll be happy eating 5 years from now - you can too!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

WEEK 20 - The Great Outdoors

Week 20 | May 29, 2012 | Weight 255.5 | Loss of 2.1 lbs | Total Loss: 55.1

What a lovely week for loss!  Finally the weather is getting better, my injury is better and I'm running regularly again.  I know I'm not posting 2-3 times per week lately and it's mostly because I just don't have that much to report on.  The journey is status quo and everything has been pretty routine - Work out, Eat right and lose weight!

My wife's first 5k run is only a few weeks away and we're planning a large BBQ that evening.  I expect it to be a high calorie and sodium day but I'm preparing for that by ensuring I'm eating clean, logging my food and working out regularly.

I had a physical last week at the Doc's office and he was quite pleased with my progress so far.  I've got to get some blood work done to check on all my numbers but his in-a-nut-shell advice for me was to just keep doing what I'm doing and I'll keep shedding the pounds.

One thing I did discover that I never thought I'd like is Chicken Caesar Salad.  Wow that stuff is good!  Last weekend we decided to take the kids to the amusement park and for the first time since January we were stumped at how we were going to heat food.  Every other mealtime we've been near the home and cooked something up or microwaved something for a lunch but not this day and we refused to buy carnie food as who knows what goes into that crap.  So we pulled out a couple of chicken breasts (we usually have 10 or so pre-cooked on hand at all times these days, sealed and frozen) and cut it up.  I shoved it in a small tupperware dish, loaded the mini-van with a big mixing bowl, caesar salad ingredients, the chicken chunks and some water bottles.  I loaded a small cooler up with ice and off we went.  I was shocked at how delicious that lunch was.  It was pretty much our first picnic during our weight loss journey and even the kids had a great time with it!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Week 19 | May 22, 2012 | Weight 257.6 | Loss of 0.0 lbs | Total Loss: 53.0

Well this was pretty much expected.  I had a craving for pizza delivery this weekend.  I hadn't had any in 6 months.  We've had boxed pizza many times but actual greasy, gooey pizza from delivery was something I ate frequently when gaining weight.  I decided it was time to have some.  I gorged on 4 and a half slices.  I was not proud of myself LOL.

The worst part of it all was - it wasn't even very satisfying.  Now I'm back to eating much better and I'm happy to get back to it.  I've got to get a better handle on those weekends.

I'm back to running C25K again and completed Week 3, Day 2 outside over the weekend and I think I did quite well with it.  I even added in an extra 4 minute run on top of it because I wasn't quite back to the beginning of the pathway where I started when the C25K app said I was completed.  WOOT!  Seems my foot has healed well - still a bit sore but much better now.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

WEEK 18 - Injury!

Week 18 | May 15, 2012 | Weight 257.6 | Loss of 2.5 lbs | Total Loss: 53.0

Well the birthday weekend is now long behind and I've picked up the pace again with a great loss.  It would have been a bit more but something happened last week that's been causing me some grief.

After my son's birthday, my wife and I decided to go spoil the kids and get them new desktop computer's (full gaming rigs).  I spent pretty much a whole day assembling and setting them up and I think during the course of that I had injured my Achilles Tendon by sitting too long on it on the floor all day.  As mentioned in my last post, I was in a bit of pain and I could not do any running or workouts.

Since then, I've been moving a lot better but I can still feel that it is not 100%.  I can feel the injury in there even though it isn't preventing me from walking normally like I was before it and I even managed to get in a run.  I'm hoping it returns to normal and I hate not being able to go run without worrying about it.

I decided to setup a doctor's appointment for a physical (which I'm overdue on anyway) and will mention it to him at the same time.  That's scheduled for the 24th so we'll see how that goes.

Eating well is still continuing with not much new in the way of evolution there.  I'm still having chicken breasts for lunch, egg whites with a single omega-3 egg for breakfast and then some lean meat meal for dinner.  We are still making protein bars and I am still chugging a shake each day.  On the exercise front, I've been very slack for the past week which I can feel in my body.  I don't feel as strong and I don't stand as straight as I was.  Maybe it's all in my head, but I don't feel as youthful as I did these past couple of months.  I need to get back at it so starting tonight I hit the weights and tomorrow I pick up my C25K running.  I was almost about to start Week 3.  Hope I don't have to go backward.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Week 17 - Steady As She Goes

Week 17 | May 8, 2012 | Weight 260.1 | Loss of 0.0 lbs | Total Loss: 50.5

So this is the first week I've not recorded a loss and I'm sort of surprised that I never logged a gain.  Over my son's birthday weekend we had Chinese takeout, high sodium steaks and french fries, pizza, ice cream cake and many more treats.  My wife logged a huge gain this week but with proper flushing, we should be able to take care of that pretty quick.

On the party front, it was a pretty good success and we had a great time at Laser Tag.  We then decided on a whim to go buy both kids their own computers.  They love playing some kids games and surfing youtube videos and always bug to use mine and my wife's computer or bugging me to unpack my laptops and use those so we just said, the hell with it.  They have computer desks in their rooms with nothing on them so may as well make use of them.  Needless to say, they went ape shit when they saw them LOL.

I continued yesterday with my C25K and somewhere along the lines between that and putting together the kids computers, I really hurt my Achilles heel - That's the tendon right above the heel and below the calf.  It's been hurting like a biatch all night and I could barely walk today.  I'll be taking it easy this week and slowing down the workouts until this feels better.

On a sad note, my wife had a death in the family that really struck home with her.  We took some time off in order to grieve and ponder the mortality of us all.  At only 28 years old, it was quite a shock and a loss for a wonderful family.  Steven, you will be remembered always.  May you rest in peace.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Happy Birthday!

My son turned 9 years old this weekend and this post is a shout out to him!  Have a fantastic birthday son!  Of course, all sensible eating went out the window this weekend as I had to partake in birthday cake.  Naturally there was no home cooked meal as we were out to Laser Tag for his party, then off to Chop (a fine dining restaurant) for dinner.

After we doused ourselves with sodium from that, we went back home with some adult friends and had a few drinks.. a few too many and ended up dehydrating ourselves and eating pizza.  This afternoon it finishes up with a dose of Chinese Food, again, loaded up with sodium.

I'm certainly glad these things don't happen very often and I fully expect to log a gain this coming Tuesday.  If I get lucky and I get some runs in and hit the home gym, I may break even.  I'll have to drink a ton of water over the next few days and keep my sodium low to try and work this out of my system.

One thing I did notice that eating this way actually gave me an upset tummy - something I haven't had in months.  I've discovered that the foods I used to be able to eat no problem are causing me grief now that I've been eating so much better over the past while.  I'll be happy to get back to eating better after this weekend but I'm setting the expectation of not having a great loss this week now so I won't be disappointed.  Now, time to go flush!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Week 16 - Officially 50!

Week 16 | May 1, 2012 | Weight 260.1 | Loss of 3.2 lbs | Total Loss: 50.5

Well I'm glad I was right about last week's weigh in, in that it was another sodium induced gain.  Afterward, I dropped the rest of the pounds I put on and continued in a downward direction.  As each day goes by, I get a little more accurate in my recipes and can say with confidence that my nutrients are being tracked correctly at this point for just about everything we eat.  It certainly makes fluctuations easier to explain and I'm at the point now where I can almost predict what's going to happen on the scale based on what I ate, drank and did the day before.

Though I hit my 50 pounds lost mark earlier in the week, today makes it totally official as Tuesday's are my weigh in day.  I still can't believe that I've actually lost 50 pounds - heck only 10 more and I'll be the weight I was at when I got married 13 years ago.  The only downside is I won't see the 50 pound club badge on lose it until next week when I weigh in again.  They don't give out the badge until you record the weight twice.

I'm feeling a lot better than I was last Christmas.  Not only health wise but feeling better about myself.  It's sort of weird thinking about it.  I'm looking in the mirror and am becoming happier with what I see and not disgusted anymore.  When I'm riding the train, and some woman looks at me I no longer say to myself.. "She's probably thinking, what a fat piggie".  Now I'm saying to myself... "She's probably thinking, hey, he's not bad."  LOL.  Though I'm probably way off base, it doesn't matter because it's MY mentality that's changed about myself and whether or not I'm getting checked out really makes no difference because the end result is simple - I feel better about myself.

On the updates front, I've changed my lose it goal from 2 pounds per week to 1.5 pounds per week.  This means I can eat a little more and I'm ensuring I'm not under-eating and making myself sick.  It's a fine line but when you start getting the brain fog going on, you know you're not getting enough food so we'll make sure that doesn't happen... again LOL.

Oddly enough I've discovered that even though I started by eating whatever I wanted and just counted my calories for the first half of my journey so far, I've started to gravitate toward eating healthier foods subconsciously.  I no longer eat frozen entrees for lunch and gone are the 100 calorie chips and ice cream replaced with apples and oranges.  I've discovered the joy of the skinless chicken breast and now cook about 12-15 of them each Sunday and split them for lunches between myself and my wife for the following week.  We've started including steamed broccoli in our dinners and tossed the boxed frozen broccoli and cheese.  It's amazing how this is happening and the fact that I actually like it.  One point in my life, if you showed me a piece of broccoli, I thought I'd spontaneously combust.

On the exercise front, I'm still doing my morning cardio on the rowing machine and now treadmill, followed by a brisk walk during work if there's time and I'm working on my C25K in the evenings 3 days a week.  The other days, I'm doing strength training - currently consisting of pull-ups, push-ups, crunches and lunges with weights.  I can feel myself getting stronger and I'm loving this lifestyle.

Go figure.

Sunday, 29 April 2012


My journey is one of weight loss, and a lot of it.  While I am still under halfway to my goal, I felt that hitting 50 pounds lost was big enough of an accomplishment to at least see a before and current shot.  The problem is, when I was at and near my heaviest, I refused to let people take my picture because I was so unhappy with myself.  I'm finding it a bit easier to let those pictures get taken these days.  I found one from Christmas just passed so I decided to sit that next to a picture that was taken of me yesterday.  I've still got a long way to go but my resolve is just as potent as it was when I started this journey.  I can see a difference... can you?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

WEEK 15 - Ruh-Roh

Week 15 | April 24, 2012 | Weight 263.3 | Loss of 0.2 lbs | Total Loss: 47.3

Oh the madness.  I'm not surprised by this weigh in at all.  While I did manage to stay under my calorie budget, the phantom of sodium had struck again and I will admit, one event in particular was lack of planning and will power.

We visited three different takeouts between Thursday and Saturday and while calories remained in check, my sodium did not.  I wasn't worried as I figured that in two days I'd be flushed and back to normal.  Then it hit, it was dinner time on Sunday and I had a meal on the home cooking menu that we've never had before so the temptation of a delicious, home cooked meal wasn't there (simply because I had no idea if it would be fit to eat or not LOL). We were at the mall and the Boston Pizza was glaring at me.  I did a quick check on the iPhone and I could do it calorie wise, but sodium would hit me at a shocking 5800 mg!  Add that to the previous sodium from the fast food from Thursday - Saturday.

It was nothing more than a pure weak moment and we went in.  On Monday, I had gained almost 4 pounds!  I flushed all day and this morning got myself back down by 2 pounds but earlier in the week I was weighing in at 261 so I didn't manage to get it all out of the system.  This means that next weeks weigh in should be pretty decent as long as I don't let this one incident continue.  Yeah, I had the Boston Brute...

Planned meals even in restaurants seem to be working out, but it's these unplanned, spur of the moment ones that'll get ya.  Don't make them a habit!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Good Food

Homemade Protein Bars
In an effort to help with my strength training and swapping out my un-healthy afternoon snack of ice-cream or chips, I started investigating protein bars.  After some experimenting with various online recipes and investigating store bought bars, my wife and I found this recipe to be simply delicious!

We also wanted to control what ingredients went into the bars without any extra chemicals and with the price of store bought bars being pretty out there, homemade is the way to go.  These will satisfy your chocolate craving and make for a fantastic treat.

Ingredients - Dry
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 Cup Protein Powder (Chocolate Whey Isolate)
1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Instructions - Dry
1. Mix all of the above dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Ingredients - Wet
1/4 Cup Organic Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Unpasteurized Honey
1/4 Cup Skim Milk
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cube 70% Dark Chocolate (Cut into small pieces)

Instructions - Wet
1. Mix all of the wet ingredients above into a microwave proof bowl, including the chocolate
2. Put in microwave oven for 30 seconds.
3. Remove and Stir.  If chocolate hasn't melted, repeat step 2.
4. Once chocolate is soft and mixable, stir entire wet bowl contents into dry bowl contents.

Instructions - Final
1. Put a large piece of wax paper into a 8" x 8" square baking pan.
2. Spray Pam into the wax paper.
3. Pour mixture into baking pan and spread.
4. Press down with hands or rubber spatula (mixture will be sticky)
5. Refrigerate until chilled.
6. Remove from fridge, turn pan upside down and peel wax paper off.
7. Cut into 12 equal bars.
8. Place bars into sandwich bags and store in fridge.  They will hold for about a week.

Eat as a snack or eat 2 for a meal replacement with plenty of protein.  Each bar has the following nutritional values:

Calories: 165
Fat: 5.7 g
Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesteral: 0.9 mg
Sodium: 37 mg
Carbs: 22.2 g
Fiber: 1.9 g
Sugars: 10.1 g
Protein: 9.6 g

Mixing Dry Ingredients

Mixing all Ingredients
Fill your square pan
Press Mixture Into Pan
After Refrigerating, remove from pan
Cut into 12 equal bars

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

WEEK 14 - Advice

Week 14 | April 17, 2012 | Weight 263.5 | Loss of 2.4 lbs | Total Loss: 47.1

Hooray for another great loss!  You know you're making progress when people start asking you how you're doing it.  What's the secret and what's the magic behind weight loss.  I decided to reflect back on what I've done and make a list of things I've tried my best to understand and adhere to that's been successful for me.

The important thing here is that there is no one way to lose weight.  There's lots of different things a person can do to lose weight and get fit.  Below, is simply how I am doing it and by no means does every single item in this list need to be applied.  Some of them are common sense, others are things I've researched and chose the best resulting answer for me.  That said, this list is to answer the question "How did I (me) lose almost 50 pounds so far?" - My answer is, I use a combination of the Lose It WWW site for calorie tracking, and workouts and using the below advice.

1. Don't use any of the LoseIT food items in the database. Figure out your own. They rarely match what's on the labels, especially if you don't live in the US.

2. Do the work to figure out your own recipe calorie counts. I discovered the Meat Loaf I was using on Lose It was 200 calories. When I did the work to actually find out what mine was, it was more like 300.

3. Don't log your exercise. Think of it as bonus and do it as much as you can. I work out a couple times per day for 30-40 mins each time.  It is a combo of Cardio and Strength Training. If you must log your exercise, get a heart rate monitor.  Lose It says Vigorous Sex burns 1 calorie per minute and Fishing burns 3.5 calories per minute.  Uhh.. Hello?  Also, unless your workout machine asked your weight, height, sex and age, it's calibrated for a 30 year old, 150 pound man.  Don't trust the number!  Get a HRM!

4. Zig Zagging is your friend. Eat a bit under each day and then use those extra calories on the weekend to eat the things you enjoy that "may" not be the best for you.

5. Weigh daily, and learn to understand what the scale is telling you (don't guess, there are ways to actually figure it out) and record weight weekly, even if it's a gain. It will keep you accountable.

6. Watch out for sodium and learn about its effects. Turn on macro and micro nutrients in lose-it so you can see what your taking in.

7. Learn about BMR - it may apply to you.

8. Learn that new muscle growth in a typical male takes a year for 5-10 pounds worth (even for a Mesomorph) - no, you didn't put on 2 pounds last week because of muscles, it's probably water due to sodium or you overate and didn't estimate your calories correctly. (It's even harder for women to gain muscle mass).

9. Learn about simple vs. complex carbs.

10. Skinless Chicken Breast is your best friend.

11. Avoid eating out like the plague. Home cooking is much better.


13. Learn about weight fluctuations. Understand that they are normal from day to day, even hour to hour.

14. Log EVERYTHING, even if you go in the red, log it. I see people not log because they are either too ashamed they overate or don't want to see failure. Log it anyway - later you will remind yourself of what not to do by looking at it.

15. Patience, Patience, Patience, Patience.

16. Don't worry about the end goal date - it will come eventually but don't form habits that you can't sustain for the rest of your life. This is a life time change, not a diet.

17. Do meal planning. Figure out your whole day ahead of time. Then at dinner, you take up your serving, the extras on the counter are taunting you - have someone garbage them - it's a waste, but it helps train you to not eat the leftovers or go for seconds.

18. If you eat fast like me, train yourself to understand that the hunger will subside 20 minutes after eating - you may not be actually hungry even after eating your full planned meal.

19. Cardio burns, Resistance builds.  Unless you hit puberty, you didn't gain 10 pounds of muscle from riding a bike last year.  Your muscles will get stronger before gaining ANY mass.  This is the way of things.  Don't confuse getting stronger with muscle mass.

20. Stick with it and accept the simple science.  3500 calories = 1 pound!

That's it.  Remember, you don't have to follow this yourself, it just happens to be what I've researched and followed myself to see my success so far for the past 14 weeks (oh and it works for my wife as well.  She is down 26 pounds and is much closer to goal than I).  I still have a ways to go, but I am full steam ahead!  I've put this here to answer the question I'm being asked - what is it that YOU do?  Well, here it is.  Good luck to EVERYONE in their journey!  We can do this!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Effects of Sodium

So I've been experimenting with sodium lately to see and understand the things I was reading about.  Nothing better than taking someone else's research and applying it to yourself to see how it (if at all) impacts you.  The basic adage is that sodium makes you retain water and too much of it will (among other things) make you retain more water than you should and thus you won't expend the water you would have if you never O.D'd on sodium LOL.  The studies say the average person should ingest no more than about 2300 mg of sodium per day.

So, on three separate occasions, I decided to try this out for myself.  Here are the results.

Sunday, April 1st - Ingested 4216.1 mg of sodium.  2 Day Weight was 2.4 pound gain
Thursday, April 5th - Ingested 5815.1 mg of sodium.  1 Day Weight was 1 pound gain.
Tuesday, April 10th - Ingested 5741.0 mg of sodium. 1 Day Weight was 1 pound gain.

What's important to note here is that all three of these days were at a calorie deficit for me, meaning that I should NOT have gained weight under normal circumstances.

So, we've gone and had too much sodium.  How do we fix it?  Well, to fix a sodium problem like I caused above, you spend the next day or two flushing with extra water and eating at or below 2300 mg of sodium.  Here are those results:

2 Days of water flush: 2.3 pounds lost in 2 days
1 Day of water flush: 0.7 pounds lost in 1 day
1 Day of water flush: 1.0 pounds lost in 1 day

These were the day(s) immediately following the day of high sodium intake.

What does this mean?

It means that for ME, high sodium intake causes weight fluctuations and sudden gains COULD be explained by analyzing how much sodium I took in even while I was in a calorie deficit.  The gains are temporary!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

WEEK 13 - Keeps going, and going...

Week 13 | April 10, 2012 | Weight: 265.9 | Loss of 4.4 lbs | Total Loss: 44.7

For the first time ever we never had a turkey for Easter.  We decided this year that we would have a regular meal that the kids would choose.  They selected Meatloaf LOL.  Go figure.  Happily, unlike turkey, there's no gravy and hordes of potatoes and other such treats.  That said, we did quite well with keeping eating under control.

On the exercise note, I started in on my weight training.  I've got some severe DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) as a result.  I don't think my muscles have been worked like this in years.  I'm also slowly starting to switch up my snacks and going with less sugary ones in exchange for healthy ones.  To start, I'm including an apple with my lunch and looking to increase my protein and reduce my fat intake.

Also, on a small goal note, I am currently the lightest I have been in the past 6 years.  YAY!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!  It's been a good Easter for me and my family so far.  On Thursday, my wife and I had a date night and we ate out at Boston Pizza.  We overate, drank too much and I had over 5000 mg of sodium in me.  Yikes!  As predicted, the next day I shot up almost 2 pounds, but gradually came back down as I flushed and the days went by.

My wife and I were thinking of a better way to celebrate Easter for the kids rather than giving them hordes of chocolate.  Normally, we have an Easter egg hunt with little chocolate mini eggs.  Because of our new lifestyle change, we decided to go a different route.  Instead of having little chocolate eggs, we picked up about 200 plastic eggs and put a 25 cent piece in each one.  The kids LOVED it!  They made a bunch of money and didn't miss the chocolate at all.  Of course we DID buy them a chocolate bunny each but this is the first year we had a significant reduction in chocolate around the house and it's working out well!

My wife has also officially registered for her first 5 km run.  She has entered the Starbucks Run for Women.  I set up a domain name to her sponsor page which I thought was neat.  It is

She was quite pleased.

I also decided to try my hand at the C25K on the treadmill.  I found it was easier than I originally thought.  Of course everyone says running on the treadmill is easier than running outside but you have to start small and slowly.  I'll keep that up.

I picked up an Olympic Easy Curl barbell with some weight plates to go along with my workout room weights which I started in on last night.  I swear my muscles haven't been that sore in years so I know I must have done something right.  Mind you, I'm not replacing my normal cardio routines with weight lifting, I just added it to the regimen 3 times a week.

I was quite beat by it and learned I have a long way to go before I can do a single unassisted pull up, but oddly enough, I was able to get the push-ups in better than I thought.  The lunges seemed easy when I started them, but after two sets... Ow.  LOL.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

WEEK 12 - Paying the Piper

WEEK 12 | April 3, 2012 | Weight: 270.3 | Loss of 0.1 lbs | Total Loss: 40.3 lbs

I am both amazed and not surprised by this week's weigh in.  Let's see, where to begin.  Well first on Thursday evening we had a ton of things to do so getting home to cook was just not in the cards.  I ended up eating a Momma Burger combo at A&W.  Then of course on Saturday, I ate smokies, salmon, steak, baked potato and cheese toast in large portions.  Then there was the copious amounts of alcohol in the company of some great friends.  Not to mention the wife's chocolate fountain.. yikes!

To add fuel to the fire, Sunday was worse with deep fried fish and chip takeout with gravy and deep fried coconut shrimp, followed up by a chocolate brownie explosion from dairy queen and finally to end the evening off with pizza!

I feel so dirty LOL.

I certainly call this a cheat weekend and happily it was all planned.  My wife and I decided that we would have a weekend where we could eat whatever we wanted as long as we logged everything we ate.  After 3 months of doing so well, it was time for a break and you just have to do that once in a while.

Now it's back to home cooked meals which I still love to cook and eat and workout up to 40 minutes now in the mornings.   20 on the rower and 20 on the elliptical.  Oh, and I finally got my treadmill.  We were shopping around Canadian Tire and decided to grab the Tempo 632T Treadmill.  It was on sale.  I spent most of last night putting it together and it works just great.  It'll come in handy for the cold rainy days we get.

Friday, 30 March 2012


I sure do like getting new stuff.  My wife has entered the Starbuck's 5k Run for Women race this summer and decided to hit the Running Room for some new shoes and running gear.  She came out with sunglasses, tights, tops, a jacket and of course, running shoes.  She's also signed up for the Learn to Run clinic.  I'm so proud of her for signing up and I know she's going to do great.

Of course, the old adage states that if she goes shopping, so do I hehe, so I got me some new stuff too.

I got a couple new matts for our workout room as well as this wall mount pull up bar which I have yet to assemble.  Also picked up some push up bars there.  Fatboy Kris has led me to the Scooby Workshop site and I've been doing a lot of reading and I'm going to start including some weight lifting workouts on top of my normal cardio.

Then I grabbed this rack and full set of dumbells.  It has 5's, 10's, 15's, 20's, 25's and 30's.  The rack I got as a deal because they never had any left in stock so I took the display model.  There's not a scratch on it and was already assembled for me.  Plus the discount for it being out on the floor already made this a pretty sweet deal.

Now of course, the wife was out getting runners for her race this summer, so I decided to grab myself a nice pair of Nike's for my walks (and someday runs).  These are the Nike Air Pegasus+ 28.

I also decided to pick up a Polar FT7 heart rate monitor as well.  This little baby will tell me a lot more accurately how many calories I'm actually burning as well as if my heart is in the right zone.  Hopefully it'll also tell me if I'm about to have a heart attack while I'm on the elliptical LOL.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

WEEK 11 - Numbers

Week 11 | March 27, 2010 | Weight: 270.4 | Loss of 2.2 lbs | Total Loss: 40.2 lbs

40.2 pounds lost.  Need I say more?  I was tempted to leave this post at that, but, as my wife reminds me from time to time, I tend to babble on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and.. well you get the idea.  Anyway, I am very pleased to have lost 40.2 pounds.  Forgetting what I even lost this week as that is overshadowed by my current grand total.

I'm a numbers kinda guy.  I was always good with math and even tutored Undergrads with their single variable calculus.  That said, I'm looking at the numbers and I see some interesting stats:

40 pounds lost
30.7 % of my goal
3.63 pounds lost per week average
About 0.5 pounds per day lost average

That's just crazy!

Friday, 23 March 2012


During weight loss, I've learned that fluctuations are normal and to be expected.  A lot of people like to weigh themselves every day and record their gain or loss.  With that comes a lot of fluctuations and that can drive people batty.  One thing I've learned is to not lose heart when the scale goes up because it's GOING to happen.  Whether because you've been overeating or because of the sodium from that giant pizza you ate last night or whatever, you can expect it.  A lot of advice to others to get around worrying so much about day to day fluctuations is to only weigh yourself twice a month or every week.  The problem is, we are a "right now" type of society and looking at the scale is just something that's going to happen.

I've resigned to go ahead and weigh every morning but only record on each Tuesday.  I've come to accept day to day fluctuations and I don't lose any sleep over it.  I record my weekly progress on and I can clearly see the trend there by doing that.  

Take a look at this weekly record from the graph:

As you can see, I've clearly lost some weight and the trend is going in the right direction.  Unfortunately I only started recording daily weight for myself starting in late February, but take a look at this DAILY graph for the past month:

If you look at the points on the graph, you can clearly see that day to day, my weight goes up and down.  Sometimes it goes up by a little or not at all and other times it goes up by a lot.  The important part is that the trend over time is headed in the right direction and THAT is what's important.  Slow and steady wins the race with weight loss, not quick fixes.  Lucky for me, my weigh in day of Tuesday has typically been a day where my weight happened to be down LOL - I count myself lucky for that but it will run out eventually and I'm sure I'll post an official gain as I go downward.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

WEEK 10 - Progress and Friends

Week 10 | March 20, 2012 | Weight: 272.6 | Loss of 5.2 lbs | Total Loss: 38.0 lbs

This was a surprising loss for me this week.  I ate over my calories twice but I am working out regularly.  My current regimen is still Rowing for 20 minutes in the morning, then Elliptical for 6 minutes (I went up a minute LOL), a 3-4 km walk during work when it's not busy and a 2-3 km walk around the neighborhood before dinner in the evenings if it's not too crappy outside.  I'm slowly starting to pay attention to the labels on food now and having a look at my macros and sodium intake as well as cholesterol.  I know a bit later, I'm going to have to start paying closer attention to my sodium which is a bit high for my liking each week and start getting my protein up and fat down a bit.  But all that in good time.  I'm still losing, I have a long way to go and those things will become more important as I go.

I'm also a little surprised that people are starting to notice already.  I've had a couple comments from co-workers and the typical, "How are you doing it?" questions.  I didn't expect to start hearing anything from anyone till I lost 50 pounds at least.  That of course, as I've read, is common - others, especially ones that don't see you everyday, will notice your changes early even if you don't notice them yourself.

These comments from friends, co-workers and even strangers certainly help and I'm very happy to see a few friends now using the web site as well.

It's great to have that kind of support system around and I can only imagine the extra challenge if I were doing this alone.  I'm hoping we'll all succeed together, so, here's to a healthy, and new US!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

St. Patrick's Weekend

This weekend was a fantastic weekend!  The family and I did so much together this weekend that I almost feel like I hadn't rested at all.  My plan was to work out during the weekdays and let my body rest up on the weekends, but it seems that my resting on the weekends are not going so well, but I'm loving it.

The first thing we did together this weekend was to make some yummy St. Paddy's Day shakes.  I was amazed that I actually managed to resist having one.  The kids loved them and loved how their tongues turned green.  It was a simple oreo cookie, vanilla ice-cream, mint extract and food coloring mixture blended up to a nice blizzard.  Quite the treat and packed with calories I'm certain.

On Saturday, my wife and I took what she's been calling our power walks.  It's a 2.5 km walk around our neighborhood where she is almost in a jog and I'm sweating my butt off to keep up.  She was so pumped about it this weekend, she even broke out into a full blown jog.  I told her to keep going and I'll keep power walking and so, off she went. It was awesome to see her go!  I managed to meet her back at the house only a few minutes behind.

This Sunday, we took the kids (the dog always goes with us) up to the nearby park for a 4 km walk.  It was a bit cold but the snow is almost all gone now and the fresh air was very nice.  That was a new record for me for distance and I felt great.

After our walk, we came home, had lunch and decided to go to the wave pool.  I hadn't been swimming in years and I was wondering to myself if I still knew how lol.  A few hours of frolicking and swimming with the wife and kids and I could feel the muscles in my body starting to rebel so I knew it was time to give them a much deserved rest.

Now for a nice relaxing evening watching the season finale of The Walking Dead with my lovely wife.  I just hope I'm not too exhausted to get up and do my regular workout on the rower tomorrow morning.  Oh and I found the proper power adapter for the elliptical so that's working just great again!