Tuesday, 28 February 2012

WEEK 7 - Busy, Busy, Busy

Week 7 | February 28, 2012 | Weight: 285.2 | Loss of 2.4 lbs | Total Loss 25.4 lbs

Well this has certainly been a very busy couple of days.  I almost didn't update my blog with this weeks weigh in (though I did weigh in this morning on time).  My wife's procedure went quite well yesterday and she is doing well however we've been very busy since.

I'm very happy with this weeks effort and loss.  2.4 pounds is a very good loss for this week and with that, I have broken the 25 pound barrier.  I personally feel this is a great accomplishment for 7 weeks of our new lifestyle.  That said, I'm a little concerned about next week's weigh in for several reasons.

The first reason is that we've been doing a lot of shopping around and have been eating out a bit.  I've been doing my best to only order things that will keep me at my allowed calories but these things usually contain a lot of sodium so we'll see what happens.  We did do something I thought I wouldn't be able to do for some time and that was to take a 2 km walk today.  We dropped my wife's van off to get the brakes fixed and decided we would walk to one of the malls to get her hair done.  I fired up the app called Pedometer +GPS on my iPhone and it clocked us in at around 2 km in 25 minutes.  I'm surprised I managed to make it given I'm a fat guy that couldn't run to the end of the street without having a heart attack I'm sure.  But there it is and I'm quite happy with it.

The next thing that is probably going to throw things off a bit is the fact that we picked up a new Withings bathroom scale.  It's never really a good idea to change scales when losing weight like this as it can make things appear off however I just couldn't resist this scale.  It's a WiFi scale that records your weight, BMI and Body Fat percentage and uploads it to the Withings site for tracking, trending and graphing AND it hooks into the loseit.com application as well.  I still have to figure out how it all works but sometime this week I'll be doing my weigh ins with that.

I didn't get my treadmill as I had hoped mainly because the brake job on the wife's van came in at $900.  Yikes! So we'll have to wait on that.  I didn't mind so much as I've been enjoying the Rowing machine and am planning on finishing up the Elliptical assembly this week as well so I have plenty of equipment to workout on and will grab a treadmill next month instead.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Time for an Update

So there's only a few things going on this past week.  First and foremost, my wife is going into the hospital tomorrow for a minor procedure so we've taken a few days off work.  I'm not planning on doing any takeouts or unscheduled visits to fast food.  We've been doing quite well with only home cooked meals and brown bagging it for lunch.  This reduction of fast food has been a significant change for us and we're really enjoying making better use of the kitchen.  As for my wife, things should be just fine and we'll probably take it easy on the work outs over the next day or two.

As far as workouts go, I've looked into the Kinect Your Shape game some more and discovered I could repeat routines and select the ones I'm most comfortable with until my body gets a bit more used to moving.  I've been enjoying the rowing machine a little more and am continuously going on that for 20 minutes now with about 10-15 minutes on the Kinect.  I also brought all the pieces of the elliptical into the "workout room" now so I'll be assembling that over the next few days.  I've decided to workout 5 days a week in the mornings before work and rest up on the weekends.  Having a weigh in day on Tuesday's, I'm hoping this will encourage me to keep my weekends in check.

I also picked up a neat tip for keeping count of the number of drinks I have on the weekend because after four or five it becomes quite difficult to keep count for some reason... go figure.  Anyway, I've kept a bunch of bottle caps from my water bottles and plan to use them as tokens of sorts for my weekends.  I can put five or six of them in my pocket and when I have a drink, I have to pay with a bottle cap.  Once I'm out of caps, I have to be done.

Speaking of water, I've been doing very well with drinking around 8 bottles a day for a total of 4 liters a day.  I don't even crave soda pop at all so the only time I see any is on the weekend when I mix some with a shot of rum or vodka.  Even then I only go diet so the calorie intake is quite low and a few once a week isn't going to kill me.  I have added a cup of skim milk in the mornings though just after my workouts to help ensure I'm getting some calcium and other nutrients I may be missing out on from drinking only water all week long.  I've read doing something like milk after a workout can be quite good for you.  We'll see how that goes.

The only thing that's been exciting for me is that as of around Thursday I've lost 25 pounds total (I weigh every morning but only record on Tuesdays) and I'm crossing my fingers that I'll still be at the 25 pound mark for my official weigh in Tuesday.  If I can keep it I'll get the 25 pound badge from the loseit.com site!  WOOT!

Thursday, 23 February 2012


So I've been getting up extra early each morning to do my new exercise routine.  I decided to start off slow and try out the Your Shape game for the Kinect followed by 15 minutes on the rowing machine.  The first couple of days went pretty well.  I finished the routine each morning, sweating and panting and desperately needing a shower.  I even managed to get a blister on the back of my foot from my runner rubbing against it - My bad for not wearing socks the first day.

This morning the Kinect decided that I was progressing well and it kicked the routine up a notch.  Umm, this is my third day here Mr. Kinect, I can't do those moves!  I tried but failed miserably.  I couldn't stay in sync with the trainer and became frustrated.  Seems to me that it decided to advance me faster than I had liked and I don't see a way to fix that.  I wish it said something like.. Hey, I'd like to advance your routine to the next level, do you agree?  And at least give me an option.. Stupid game.  Anyway, I didn't spend 20 minutes on it like I did previously so I decided to add another 5 minutes to the rowing machine instead.

Tonight I'm going to look through the menus of the game and see if I can figure out how to put more control on what I want to do rather than let it try and make me do moves that a fat guy really shouldn't be doing.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty good about working out and think I'm going to get my elliptical going next.  It's partially in the basement and partially in the garage - some assembly is certainly required.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

WEEK 6 - On Track and Happy Pancake Day!

Week 6 | February 21, 2012 | Weight: 287.6 | Loss of 4.8 lbs | Total Loss 23.0 lbs

I feel like I lost a little traction last week with only losing 1.2 pounds however this week it seems I've gotten back on track.  I know I can't expect to continue to lose 4 pounds every week and it will soon drop to a regular 1 to 1.5 pounds a week so all in all I feel great about my overall progress thus far.

Now that I have week 6 behind me, this also marks the point where I would like to start working out.  As mentioned in my previous post, I'm starting up on the Kinect Your Shape game for Xbox.  I fired it up this morning and entered my data.  I did three 4-5 minute personal training sessions.  I must say I worked up a bit of a sweat but I was feeling good.  After that I decided to go down into the basement and dust off the Concept 2 Rowing machine that I bought a few years ago.  Seems I had it in my head to try and lose weight before but clearly that was one of my many failures.

I hopped on that sucker and spent 15 minutes rowing.  The sweat starting running off my brow which is a good sign I'm doing something right.  I never bothered to record the calories burned as I've read not to trust the machines readouts.  I'll pick up a heart rate monitor next week for that but I still think at this point I'm going to eat the same calories and any workout burn is going to be gravy.

On Saturday, my wife and I decided to have a dinner that we haven't had in a while - Chateaubriand with Bearnaise Sauce.  I love cooking this meal as the steak just melts in the mouth and the sauce adds a fine, tangy zing.  We even ate it in the dining room for a bit of extra class LOL.  The downside to this fantastic meal is the calories.  I went over by a couple of hundred that day and so did my wife, but we continue to count and log our calories vigilantly.  She lost a pound this week and I'm very proud of her progress as well!

Finally, I'd like to wish everyone one a Happy Pancake Day!  Yeah when you have young kids, those little days seem to be quite exciting.  Anyway, it sounds like it's pancakes for us tonight!  I'm going to see about picking up some low fat whip cream for them!

More than likely, I'll try to grab some pecans for mine as the kids enjoy them with a small amount of chocolate chips.  Topped off with strawberries and whip cream and you've got a real winning combination.  I best get started on the calorie counting for this evenings meal LOL.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

My Shape?

Starting Tuesday, which is my official weigh in day, I shall start slowly working out.  I've always made the connection between a healthy diet and regular exercise but decided to see what counting calories would do for me.  When I counted said calories, I learned a lot about what I was eating and like many others, was shocked at what I was consuming.  For almost 6 weeks now I've steadily lost weight (almost 25 pounds according to today's weight) and I still eat bacon, chocolate, fries, chips, ice cream, steak and other things.  I've learned all about portion control and understand the difference in eating 16 ounces of beef and 6 ounces of beef. Oddly enough, I've been VERY happy with the portion control and it's been working!

Now I think it's about time to slowly start getting into some sort of exercise plan.  I've decided to get up 15-20 minutes earlier in the mornings starting this Tuesday and try out the Kinect Your Shape game.  It's been sitting in our games room for a while now and it's never been used.  I've done some recent reviews and it seems to be pretty popular.  At least until I get my treadmill, I think this will help.  So, here's my next challenge to myself - Start exercising 4-5 times per week, at 20 minutes per day to start and slowly grow from there to something I can sustain in the future.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Water, Water, Everywh..glub glub

Ok, so I know how much water is good for me.  I've heard it all my life and it's the one thing I just could never stomach.  It tastes like eating paper and I've never had any desire to ingest it.  That said I've been reading more about the benefits of drinking the stuff and I decided to start giving it a try.  

The first thing I learned that was based on my weight, the calculations say I need to drink 4.5 liters a day.  Are you fricking kidding me?  That's like 8 and a half little 500 ml bottles.  I'd have to drink one every 2 hours to get there - that's insane!  Well, like all things, I decided to start slow late last week and at least stop drinking diet soda pop during my meals and drink bottled water instead.  3, 500 ml bottles per day seemed pretty easy. A few days later I had cut out soda pop all together and am now exclusively drinking water (except in my rum and diets).  After that, I figured it was time to try and drink what I'm "supposed" to drink.  Starting this week I tried drinking a bottle of water every 2 hours.  

Immediately I noticed I had to hit the bathroom every 15 minutes (that's not a joke, I literally had to piss every 15 minutes).  I thought - this is insane, I can't sustain that.  I started asking some questions and read a few articles and I've been told by the wise internet that this can be normal until my body gets used to the newly found water source and will stop hanging on to old water.  A few days later and I'm going every half hour to an hour now.  Hopefully I'll return to normal and still be able to keep drinking the stuff.  

Bit by bit I'm starting to like the taste more - and this is from a guy who would literally go years without a single drop of water.  The next thing I noticed was that after a day or two of drinking water like this, I gained about three pounds.  This was sort of a shock but I continued to seek the guru of the internet and was educated that this can be normal too and all things will balance themselves out.  This morning I discovered that this indeed happened and dropped another four pounds so it looks like I'm back on track.  Hopefully I can stop running to drain the one eyed snake every 30 minutes soon - it gets pretty annoying at work, though the walk to the can is a nice break.

Finally, I read that my skin will start to feel and look better as a result of the new found hydration and my wife has noticed that already given the Bedroom Olympics that I currently enjoy.  Anyway, if you're not drinking your water - get started on it!  I found a great iPhone App called Water Your Body that can help you keep track of your water intake and even remind you to drink it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

WEEK 5 - To Err Is Human (and Happy Valentines!)

WEEK 5 | February 14, 2012 | Weight: 292.4 lbs | Loss of 1.2 lbs | Total Loss 18.2 lbs

This week I lost 1.2 pounds and that is nothing to cry about.  Though I do feel a sense of guilt for my recent activities this past weekend and I consider this loss (that being my smallest loss since I began) to be a result of those activities.

On Friday, we had our typical eat out at the local Donair shop.  I had a Super size one instead of the regular.  This wouldn't have been too bad except for what came next.  On Saturday, we were planning on having some friends over which we had not seen in a very long time.  The plan was to go out to Boston Pizza for dinner and then home for a few drinks and some games.  I carefully planned my dinner at Boston Pizza to ensure I did not go over my calorie limit.  Everything worked out as planned until the drinks started to flow later in the evening.  I had budgeted a few drinks and a couple of finger food snacks but along came 4:00 in the morning and I had way more drinks and way more finger foods than I should have.  A great time was had by everyone all the same but I don't think my eating helped.

To further this weekends gorge fest, the very next day my wife and I went to the movies.  We saw "The Woman in Black" which by the way had a crappy plot but the scares were quite good.  At the movies I had a large movie fries with gravy and a large chicken tenders.  Yikes!  I fully believe I can still eat these things, but I should have had smalls and I should have also done it on a different weekend than one with BP's and a Donair!

So while I feel a sense of guilt about this weekend, I had a great time, I still showed a loss this week so To Err is Human!  Now I shall pick myself back up and chalk it up as a lesson learned!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Hootin and Hollerin

Losing weight to be healthy is an absolutely fantastic reason to make changes in one's lifestyle, but today, another reason came up that has a pretty dramatic impact on how you feel about yourself.  As shallow as it sounds, how one looks is just as important.

My wife and I were coming out of the local convenience store today.  I was picking up one of those large water containers for our water cooler so I was several paces behind.  As my wife walked out (she is on her own weight loss journey), I could hear several men whistle and holler at her as she walked by.

Now we're not spring chickens anymore but when something like that happens, you just HAVE to feel good about yourself and know that you're on the right track.  She's lost 15 pounds herself since we began this journey together and I am so proud of her.

I of course had a sense of pride and felt extremely lucky that it was me that was getting into the car with her.  So, I'll be marking this down as an additional reason for me to lose weight - to simply look great for me, for my wife and for the hooters and the hollerers!

Thursday, 9 February 2012


I was cleaning up after dinner the other night and my kids were sitting at the kitchen table.  They have taken quite an interest in our lifestyle changes.  Of course they've noticed we eat less take out and we haven't gone through the McDonald's drive-thru in over a month!  They are quite supportive of the changes that are going on (my daughter being 10 and my son of 8).  They want me to be healthy but of course, they are naturally full of questions.

This night in particular they asked me "Daddy, how long are you going to be on your diet for?"   I responded that this wasn't a diet and that it was a lifestyle change.  I am changing the way I'm eating in such a way that I will be able to continue to happily eat this way for the rest of my life.  In a sense, I told them that my diet isn't going to end and that I will be on it forever.

They looked a little puzzled by this and continued in a second attempt to find out the answer to what was really on their mind.  "Daddy, how long until you are the size you want to be?"  I chuckled to myself - Did my kids just ask me how long till I won't be fat?  They are so cute and so careful not to hurt my feelings.  I responded to them, well it's probably going to take me about 2 years to get to where I want to be.

To this I got a couple of mouth gaping looks, a jaw drop and some, oh my goshes.  I paused for a moment, looked at my lovely wife who was smiling at me from yonder table, thought hard about what I had just said and followed up by saying.. "And you know what?  I'm not even unhappy about that..."

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

WEEK 4 - Chicken and the Egg

WEEK 4  |  February 7, 2012  |  Weight: 293.6  lbs  |  Loss of 2.8  lbs  |  Total Loss 17.0 lbs

This week I had a goal to lose 2.2 pounds and I'm happy to report that I lost a staggering 2.8 and yet again, with no exercise what-so-ever.  I am simply counting my calories and ensuring I stay at or near my daily limit.  I know I'm going to have to start working out soon but I am finding it sort of humorous that I've lost 17 pounds without doing a thing other than re-arranging my food intake and a bit of portion control.

This week I've been trying some new ideas with chicken.  I love boneless, skinless chicken tits and am coming up with new ways to cook them.  It gotten a little warmer here this past week so I've also fired up the BBQ.  This opens up lots of different cooking opportunities.  Chicken wraps, grilled chicken, BBQ chicken burger are all great meals.  I've also started to buy the cartons of egg beaters.  These are essentially egg whites that I can scramble up in about three minutes from flame to plate.  Tossing them onto a slice of whole grain toast and I've got a yummy breakfast for around 200 calories.  Because the eggs are a fantastic source of protein, I found that I stay fuller a bit longer in the morning.

I've started sizing up some treadmills as ultimately I'd like to be able to do some running but I know my body has quite a way to go before I can even run 20 feet without gasping but you have to start somewhere.  That said, my plan is to pick up a treadmill, a HRM and a pair of fat guy running shoes at the end of the month.

As for snacking in the evenings - I'm really digging strawberries and pineapple so I've been either cutting up some pineapple or having a bowl of strawberries in the evenings with a dollop of low fat whip cream.   I'm also shocked that I managed to avoid soda pop for the past week (except on the weekend where I mixed diet pepsi with some rum).  I've been drinking about 2 liters of water everyday.  It still tastes like crap but it's something I know I really need to do.  I wonder if I will ever come to actually enjoy drinking water?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Go Suck A...Pineapple?

I LOVE fresh cut pineapple.  It's so sweet and juicy and easy to serve, especially when the whole family enjoys it.  Each ring comes in at about 42 calories it's perfect as a side to a breakfast or just for an evening snack.  You do however need the right tool so I suggest picking up one of these.

They work great and only cost about $20 at most local grocery stores.  It's plastic and I've broken one already but totally worth it.  If I break this one, I'll be getting a stainless steel one next time which I can get for about $50 at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

It's pretty easy to use, you just cut the top off your pineapple, place the cutter on top and start twisting.  It drills into the fruit creating rings of pineapple.

Then when you reach the bottom (you can feel it through the skin of the pineapple about where it is) you just wiggle back and forth pulling it back out and poof, rings of pineapple!  The handle pops off and they just slide off.  Make one cut down the stack and you're done.  Add as a side to some toast with breakfast or just to snack on.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Scales, Scales Everywhere

I noticed the other day that my old, clunky kitchen scale wasn't working anymore.  This is a must have tool for anyone who is counting calories.  I'm not the type of person who can eyeball a piece of meat and be able to tell how many ounces it is - I must have my scale!

Yesterday, on the way home from work, I convinced my lovely wife to let me pick up a new one from one of my favorite stores - Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Woohoo!  I did some research earlier that day and discovered they all pretty much did the same thing.  I wanted one that was accurate and easy to clean.  After looking around, we chose this:

It's glass top makes it easy to wipe down with a lysol wipe and displays weights in fractions rather than decimal which is nice.  It also takes "AAA" batteries.  My last one took those strange round ones that you have to go to a special store to find so that's an added bonus.

If you're going to be counting calories, one of these is a must!