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Old 12-21-2009, 09:06 PM   #31  
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Monday 12/21

Not much to report, good solid normal day at home.

Had a great workout and stayed within calories. Was out and about so got one of KFC's new 395 calorie meals...basically 2 pieces grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. It was unbelievable, will definitely get added to my list of things to eat if I have to do fast food.

Also my wife made one of my all time favorite meals which isn't particularly healthy. I got about half my normal portion, ate slowly and it was great and I felt full afterwards. Nice to enjoy a favorite and not feel like I blew the day.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:29 AM   #32  
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Tuesday 12/22

Nothing much to report. Another solid day at home, did well with both diet and exercise. I'm glad to be getting in a few good days before this weekend which will be tough.

Couple of minor notes.

My knees and ankles are hurting/taking a long time to get loose. It's preventing me from running which I want to mix in and limiting the cardio I do.

Mini Success
As a kid I played a lot of soccer, as part of this I would "juggle" a soccer ball with my feet/thighs/chest/etc. for as long as I could off the ground. I got to a point where I could easily do well over 100 juggle touches and could go the entire length of a soccer field without ever letting the ball touch the ground.

When I started working out 2.5 weeks ago I tried this again, and couldn't even keep the ball in the air for 10 juggle touches. It was like I had 20 pound dumbbells strapped to my legs........oh wait that was pretty much true

Anyway I've mixed this in twice a week to my routine and today I got 50! That was great!

Mini Success
Was out doing some last minute Christmas shopping. Was at Target around 6:30 and started to get really hungry. Walking in front of/smelling one of my favorite restaurants Pei Wei on the way didn't help! So instead of getting a bag of chips at Target, or some chicken strips at the deli I actually saw they had a fresh seaweed salad (which sounds gross but I actually really like at sushi places) so got that instead. It was great, small, and filled the void until I could get home and eat something healthier.


I still need to get better at carrying healthy snacks around. Being a guy I don't have a purse to sneak things around in, and some things like protein bars I can't really leave in the car in the summer. Best I have come up with to stash in my cars is small bags of in the shell sunflower seeds and 100 cal packs of beef jerky. None of which is incredibly healthy, but not too bad either and I like both.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:51 PM   #33  
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Wednesday 12/23 Good
Thursday 12/24 Bad


Had a solid day again Wednesday on both food and exercise fronts.

Today was a different story. Did just ok until dinner tonight. Didn't eat the most healthy but controlled portions and avoided all the sweets lying around (especially the freshly baked banana and ginger breads).

Dinner was another story. We were going to go out to eat, but we are having the worst snow here we've had in a while so ended up doing pizza in. That was failure 1, failure 2 was eating 4 pieces. Prob 1200-1300 cals Disappointed in that I only wanted to eat two and ended up eating 4.

I think family dinners are almost harder for me in that my wife and toddler both eat really slow and I don't, so instead of being able to eat my portion and then move on to something distracting, I end up eating more sometimes (more in the past than recently).

I need to work on eating much much slower, I think this will help out.

Crossing my fingers about tomorrow. On a scale of 0-5 red devils ....I'm shooting for <=3
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:38 AM   #34  
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Hi randomcards - just discovered your thread.

Kudos for such a thoughtful approach and clear monitoring of your steps taken each day. I share your observation that eating out on business trips with work friends is a tough one.

Also interesting that you've observed that your eating speed contributes to the amount you consume when you don't have the option to get up from the table and move on to the next thing. Great demonstration that once observed, you can own a behavior and consider options.

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Old 12-25-2009, 09:34 PM   #35  
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Originally Posted by BillBlueEyes View Post
Hi randomcards - just discovered your thread.

Kudos for such a thoughtful approach and clear monitoring of your steps taken each day. I share your observation that eating out on business trips with work friends is a tough one.

Also interesting that you've observed that your eating speed contributes to the amount you consume when you don't have the option to get up from the table and move on to the next thing. Great demonstration that once observed, you can own a behavior and consider options.

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Thanks Bill, glad to have you read it. Feel free to share any tips!
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:56 PM   #36  
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Friday 12/25 - Christmas!

So grateful to have a chance to celebrate the day of our Savior's birth with family. I hope everybody had a great day with family and friends.

First some results for today and some observations in general about Christmas and the plan.

Today I crossed the 3k - I think - calorie barrier for the first time on plan (actually first time over 2.2k calories on plan). I say I think because I really have no idea the true count of several things, but I tried to estimate pretty realistically though I think.

The sad thing is that the 3k cals was pretty much only two meals, a big breakfast and Christmas dinner. I definately was not planning to be "on plan" today so overall I give myself out of 5 which is what I expected

Negatives from today
- Biscuits and sausage gravy with bacon for breakfast, I could have only had one and not two. My favorite breakfast of all time.
- Portions were a bit larger than they should have been for Christmas dinner and I didn't put anything off limits

Positives from today
- I avoided "eating till I could eat no more" today
- I only had one roll with no butter instead of 3-5 typical
- I had twice the servings of green beans and corn on the cob as I would typically have
- I pretty much didn't have any desserts (two small bites of KrispyKreme bread pudding)
- I avoided a large unhealthy nighttime meal of leftovers

Random Observations
At least for me, conquering Christmas isn't as much about the day itself as it is the week before and the week after. The plethora of less healthy leftovers, snacks, and desserts is a problem that is hard to resolve.

Am I willing to throw it away? My wife made this unbelievable KrispyKreme bread pudding that I'm sure is like 500 calories a serving and we have half the tray leftover. Why should we keep it? It seems wrong to "waste" perfectly good no GREAT leftovers, but I don't want to eat it (at least not at the moment when I'm full) and it will be a huge temptation until it is gone. We don't have family over so either I will eat it or my wife will.

I've decided that some things, especially leftover desserts need to just be tossed in the garbage as a way to prevent binging and moving more quickly back to post holiday plan.

Counting calories made me think about meals like this in a different way. When inputting everything for the day (painful) it was interesting to see foods where the "pleasure vs. calories" were high or low. In some cases there were foods I loved that were half the calories as something else I loved equally. So in the future why not do more of the one and less of the other?

Another interesting and positive observation today came from my meal size. I'll admit that my two big meals for today were typical size of my meals pre-plan. What was interesting today was that after I ate breakfast (actually a little smaller than usual) I was STUFFED and not remotely hungry again for like 6 hours. My body felt so much different (in a bad way) than eating 6 smaller meals, I also had much much larger energy swings than I've experienced over the last several weeks which I'm sure was based on my eating.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:49 AM   #37  
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Saturday 12/26

Well today was another unavoidable day half on half off plan But it was to be expected as it was my wife's birthday so things were obviously off due to that. First the bad.

The Bad
- Didn't make it to the gym or get any real exercise, although didn't plan to as it wasn't where I needed to be today obv.
- Ate lunch at Mooyah Burger with the fam where the healthy choices are more fries or less fries

The Good
- Was a good husband and father...that's pretty important
- Stayed right at 2k cals, the upper limit of what I am trying to stick to
- Did not eat any horrible Christmas leftovers, or have sweets of any kind
- Split food at Mooyah burger

Key observation of the day
I had a bit of an epiphany today...last time my wife was pregnant was the fastest I have ever gained. This was due to a combination of portion control (she would have cravings for something unhealthy, eat 3 bites and I would eat all the rest plus my own) and just unhealthy food.

She is sick a lot when pregnant and both times has lost 15ish pounds early in the pregnancy and not gotten back to start weight until ~6 mo. So she tries to eat, but usually eats half or less of a portion before being unable to eat more in a single sitting...this changes in the last trimester.

So to use today's trip to Mooyah Burger (her birthday lunch choice while out shopping) as an example....

Old Approach
We would both order a burger and fries. I would eat mine, she would eat half of hers and I would finish hers. I thus ate 1.5 meals and around 1800-2000 cals.

New Approach
So today I simply decided to split one with her. That forced me to eat an appropriate portion (admittedly still "unhealthy" food), we both had plenty, and saved some money. So I ate .5 meals instead of 1.5 meals. Could I have eaten a whole burger and fries...sure...but I wasn't hungry afterwards. I've noticed smaller portions filling me up since trying to eat smaller meals more often.

Net Savings 1200-1300 calories!!!

Now obv it would have been better had I been somewhere where I could have had say a salad, but this little choice was so vastly better than what I did last time around I know they add up. And I stayed under my calories for the day.

I'm going to keep trying this trick as much as possible through the end of the pregnancy. If we split a meal and are still really hungry afterwards we can always just order something small extra.
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:58 AM   #38  
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Sounds like a good plan, randomcards. Great you are making space in your life to think these things through.

I'm enjoying reading your posts. And re throwing away desserts, I am about to get out of bed to throw away the leftover whipped cream. Thank you for the encouragement!

Last edited by silverbirch; 12-27-2009 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:27 PM   #39  
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Originally Posted by silverbirch View Post
Sounds like a good plan, randomcards. Great you are making space in your life to think these things through.

I'm enjoying reading your posts. And re throwing away desserts, I am about to get out of bed to throw away the leftover whipped cream. Thank you for the encouragement!
I think for my generation we were still brought up with the mindset of food being expensive and to eat everything on your plate. Not to say it isn't expensive or a financial burden to some, but many of us are fortunate that food isn't like 50%+ of our monthly expenditures. We will hopefully be teaching our kids to eat appropriate amounts and save leftovers! And sometimes it's ok to throw food away, you don't have to eat it just because it is there.
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:51 PM   #40  
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Sunday 12/26

Pretty good day, no gym workout (my gym is closed on Sundays) but got in some exercise at home, although nothing to brag about. I haven't been to the gym now since last Wednesday, so will have to avoid the temptation to overdo it tomorrow, I'm actually excited to go and weigh in. I think I've lose weight this week despite the holidays... we will see.

Sundays are tough for me because I have to be at church really early (8am) since I play for the worship team. I need to figure out a snack to take and when to eat it at church because I'm waay to hungry by the time I'm done at noon. Then I usually feel like either going out to eat with friends (a long tradition) or picking up fast food on the way home. And being starved makes me go overboard.

Anyway today we went out with some friends to a burger place. I could have said no and maybe that would have been good. However on the positive side I had a Greek Salad with Gyro meat instead of my usual - Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich with large Onion Rings. I'm sure that was a 500 calorie plus difference.

I've eaten super well the rest of the day, and was actually kind of low on calories ~1500. This is ok after the past couple of days, keep my body confused hopefully.

Portion control thought
So thinking about it there are several place to control the portions you eat if you are eating at home. In order (maybe I am missing some)

1. The amount you cook...
2. The amount you put on your plate (vs. put away for leftovers)...
3. The amount you eat on your plate...
4. Going back for seconds...

So here are my thoughts on the above. 4 and 2 are to me by far the most controllable. For #2 the secret is putting away the leftovers before I eat my first portion. This is not easy but effective. #4 is very controllable and a matter of willpower. Eating smaller meals and snacks so I am not starved is a huge part of this.

#1 is a lot less controllable in many cases depending on recipe, etc. In some cases it is very easy. Frozen meals like lean cuisine are pretty helpful here where applicable. The 100 cal packs are great for this with snacks also

#3 is almost impossible for me to control, I just can't do it. I can't have a plateful in front of me and eat half of it (assume I remotely like it). Not sure if is years of programming or what, but I can't focus on portion control here.

So I think I need to focus most on areas I can control more to aid the battle of portion size
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:11 PM   #41  
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Weekly Update - Week 3
*Note this week includes an extra 2 days, weigh in on Monday 12/28.

Updated weight 240
This week -5 lbs
Overall -20 lbs

Hard to not be really pleased with losing 5 in a week that included Christmas Eve, Christmas, and my wife's birthday. Also great to hit my first 20 lbs which is 1/3rd of the way back to 200! Glad to hit 240 before the new year.

This was the first week where I felt some noticeable difference in clothes, my "fat shorts" - the ones I was comfortable in at peak weight, I actually have to wear a belt now to keep them on. Also before everything in my body was tight (not in a good way) where it felt like my skin was taut from all the fat (which it was) and now it kind of feels a lot more loose in some areas.

I think really being good M-W last week and then not losing all control over the holiday weekend was huge. Although now I'm in for some tough challenges ahead which I'll detail below.

Food observations

Sat - 1458 cals
Sun - 1467 cals
Mon - 1790 cals
Tue - 1624 cals
Wed - 1542 cals
Thu - 2235 cals
Fri - 3106 cals (Christmas)
Sat - 1670 cals
Sun - 1490 cals

Only real negative I can point to food wise this week is that I'm not eating quite as many fresh veggies as I probably should, other than that really good. I put a huge mental focus this week on not allowing Christmas to turn into a week long binge fest and it really paid off. Realizing that there's a HUGE difference between a nice full plate of whatever Christmas dinner you want vs. 2 platefuls and 4 desserts over 3 hours. I tried to extend that principle to ever day this week except for Christmas. And to be honest it's probably not horrible for me to hit 3k calories every once in a while to keep my body a bit confused.

Also doing a good job with protein vs. fat. I track everything on TheDailyPlate, and every day I was at 200-300% of my protein goals (100-150 grams average) while keeping fat typically below 60g.

I'm really into sunflower seeds at the moment. I've always liked them (in shell) and they are really useful to me as a snack because they take a long time to eat when you get the kind in shell and so the calorie vs. satisfaction (and keeping my mouth busy) ratio is great.

I ate out several times this week also and did pretty good there, either making a very healthy choice, or if it was unhealthy, having 1/2ish of my normal portions.

Exercise Observations
Can't say it was an overall great week exercise-wise due to the holiday. My gym was closed Thu - Sunday so didn't do the gym any of those days. Did some light exercising at home, but I'm not yet good at doing great workouts at home. I did kill it at the gym M-W, and while I wish I didn't have 4 days off from the gym, it did give me a chance to recoup my body a bit and when I went today (Monday) I felt like I had boundless energy and had an amazing workout.

Still having some pain in my knees and ankles, preventing me from solid running for cardio. I hope those issues lessen as the weight goes down, because some of those activities that impact knees/ankles more I really want to work in (basketball, running, etc.)

Still doing a good job of varying things, started to do some exercises with the large weighted balls this week to mix up my weights, and varying cardio intensity, type, and duration every day I'm at the gym.

I need to get better at home workouts. TBH I kind of feel dumb doing videos at home because I feel really uncoordinated and can't do the same pace as the videos. I'm trying to tell myself it's not girlie, but it kind of feels girlie to do a workout DVD at home for me (and anything "manly" is over my head at this point). This is mental I know...

Preparing for Next Week
Next week in all likelihood is going to be worse than Christmas, because we have family in town. When that happens my wife cooks good food, we go out to eat more, and probably can't hit the gym as much. It's going to be tough for 4 days, just need to take the same approach as Christmas week and tell myself that just because I can't be perfect doesn't give me license to totally blow it either.

2 Big Problems Going Forward

1. "Failure without punishment" - This refers to days where I am not "on-plan" to the extent I want to and I don't see scale punishment (or even worse, continue to lose at the same rate). This happened over Christmas as I didn't work out and ate worse for 4 days and my weight loss progressed almost exactly as it has when I've been on plan (I weigh every day). This was the big contributor to me failing to maintain the only other time I lost weight 2 years ago. What happens is that in my head I start to think that I can eat 3k calories and not exercise and it's no different from 1.5k calories and a hard gym workout. Then it leads to little behavior slips (I can skip the gym today, or order that extra burrito) which cycles and then it comes pouring on.

Plan
This is mostly mental. I must look at things from a macro perspective (i.e. week and multi week) and not a micro perspective (day and multi-day). Realize that there is not an immediate reaction between behavior and weight necessarily. KEEP IT SIMPLE - If I do the things that are right I will lose, If I do the things that are wrong I will gain....DONE



2. Slower Results
I was hoping to see good results the first month and I have (20 lbs in 3.5 weeks). The problem now is that I have to work just as hard or harder to see even less results. While this is a sign that things are going well, it also sucks from a motivation perspective. I don't know when I will stop losing at a ~5 lb a week rate, could be this week, or not for another several, but I will get to the point where I will be luck to pull 2 each week and I have to prepare myself for that.

Plan
Again mental...try not to look at the big losses as normal, and view them as extra gifts or rewards for getting started on the journey. Continue to focus on behavior (reasonable calorie deficit with good nutrition coupled with a good exercise regime) and not focus too much on weight...

Question in my head today
Have I gained any muscle? I hear mixed information on whether you can actually build muscle while losing weight. I am eating a lot of protein and can now lift 20-30% more across the board than I could a month ago. But I'm not sure if that's just making existing muscle more "alive" or actually gaining more muscle. I'm still way below what I was capable of when I got to 200 several years ago. I don't know that the answer really matters, but I was thinking about it today.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:17 PM   #42  
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Exercise/weight Observation

I've been frustrated with my knees and ankles not being able to take running well so I've been having to walk more than I might want to. This is frustrating because it is not as intense as I would like. To help a little I picked up a couple of 2.5lb(each) wrist weights to make my arms work a bit more while walking.

It's amazing to me just how my 5 lbs feels like on my arms and how much I "notice" the extra weight.

This made me think about the 50ish lbs I still have to lose. I'm surprised sometimes that my body can lift me up at all, I think about how much more athletic I would feel 50lbs lighter just due to not carrying extra weight.

When I was a teenager and in good shape I would go on a lot of long camping trips where I would often carry a 40-50lb pack. I remember how strenuous that was and how burdened that felt and to think that I essentially lug one of those around all the time is a crazy thought.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:39 PM   #43  
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I know what you mean! I recently got some 50-lb. bags of sand for a project... and was amazed at how heavy they were. To think I walked around with that much on me every day... Or, think of it as two 25-pound bags of dog chow, one under each arm. No wonder trying to exercise hurt! That's why it's better to take it easier to begin with... Use the low impact machines...

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Old 12-30-2009, 12:54 AM   #44  
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Monday 12/28 and Tuesday 12/29

Very similar to last week in that I have the beginning of this week to get ready for a really difficult end of the week plan-wise.

Both Monday and Tuesday were solid. If anything I might have undereaten a bit both days, which is probably ok considering last weekend and this upcoming weekend. Made it to the gym both days and had good long solid workouts.

Really feeling the additional energy, it is easier and more pleasant to get up and do things around the house and with the toddler which helps with family and marriage life.

Before I would look at getting up and taking out a bunch of trash as a chore, or bringing in groceries. Now I try to do curls as I'm moving the goods and think of it as burning a couple of calories


TOMORROW THE REAL CHALLENGE BEGINS

We will have 4 houseguests from Wed - Sun. This will be way tougher than Christmas where we went somewhere else for a meal. My wife went grocery shopping, and while it wasn't like she brought home 20 cheesecakes, it was definately "normal people food" for entertaining. A few things I really struggle to have in the house, especially chips.

I will not be able to be as selective about what I eat over the next 4 days so instead I will have to be spot on with portion control. I am better at being selective than I am at portion control so this will be a big challenge.

I'm going to try to hit the gym again tomorrow before family arrives, and then hopefully I can go again on Saturday.

Wish me luck!
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:44 PM   #45  
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New Years Mid Day Alert

Uh oh, I'm at my calorie limit for the day and am about to head to a 6 hour NYE party with pizza and liquor. On top of that my calories for today have been pretty unhealthy, no make that very unhealthy. Including too large of a portion of 7 layer taco dip and chips.

Trying to reset and not chunk out the whole night just because I've been very weak so far today. Need to be very careful with food and drink tonight to try to stay under 3k calories.
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