Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I've Fallen Off the Wagon

You may have noticed that I haven't updated in awhile. The simple fact of the matter is that I haven't been doing well on an eating plan. I know it is an excuse, but our house is packed full of stuff that I shouldn't be eating. There are five half gallons of ice cream in the fridge, three half-gone cakes on the counter and mounds of chips in the cabinet. My family went shopping at a warehouse superstore while I was sick and apparently they don't sell healthy food!

At the moment, I'm trying to decide what I can do to get back on track. I've been getting hungry in the after noon for no apparent reason -- I'm eating the same thing during the day that I was in January when I didn't have any hunger issues. I think that means I have to go through the induction phase again where I get my body back in to ketosis.

March 1st is coming up and that seems like a good time to recommit to eating correctly. That certainly doesn't mean I'm going to go on a wild bender the rest of the week but it does give me time to get all that ice cream in to the hands of family members who don't live in my house.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Fat Pants

I haven't update in awhile because of the cold I previously mentioned. I ended up going to the doctor and getting anti-biotics and a decongestant. All in all, thanks to not eating and dehydration, I lost ten pounds while sick! Thankfully with some fluids, my weight went back to a more reasonable level and I'm back on track to lose weight the right way.

Today I stopped and picked up two new pair of pants. My current pants bunch up weird when I pull my belt tight enough to hold them up, so it was time for new ones. I took a pair of 56's and 58's to the dressing room and while both fit, the 56's were still a little snug. SO I'm only down one size, but now I officially have my fat pants.

What are fat pants, you say? Well, those are the pants I can hold up proudly in front of myself once I've lost all the weight I'm aiming to lose. A giant pair of pants in front of a slender body is apparently the best way to show off just how far you've come.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Proposition 3-17

guiness shamrock
Originally uploaded by mikedemers
I ended up calling out sick today -- this cold just won out and I needed to sleep and let my body heal. Thankfully it is the weekend, and I can just veg out now. While I was tossing and turning through fever-induced dreams, it occurred to me that there aren't any holidays between New Years and Memorial Day. Sure, there is Valentine's Day and Fat Tuesday, but we don't get off of work for those. Even President's Day only benefits those who work at banks, post offices, etc.

Thankfully, the fine folks at Guiness have realized the same thing. They've started an online petition to make St. Patrick's Day an official holiday in the United States. They hope to present congress with one million signatures by midnight on March 16th. I'm all for this idea because the last few years, I haven't braved the crowds to celebrate the holiday. If I could celebrate at any time during the day, then that would be perfect.

Wait, what? Are you serious? Guiness mixed with Jamison and Bailey's Irish cream isn't a health food? Well, thankfully there are some low carb St. Patrick's Day dishes. Both the pub salad and cheese tart sound great and the Irish coffee will help you stay hip while everyone else is drinking their pints.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Spoonful of Sugar

Originally uploaded by William Wilkinson
For the past few years, I've had a reoccurring problem during the winter where I get a sinus infection. This year I managed to avoid it and I thought I was going to make it to spring without getting sick. But today proved otherwise. I woke up with an earache that eventually progressed to a fever and sore throat. Thankfully, my co-workers had some Tylenol and cough drops, so I was able to make it through the day.

Tonight I stopped to get my own supply of over-the-counter remedies and I came to a startling realization -- there is sugar in medicine. I was comparing the active ingredients in different medicines when I noticed they all had sugar in them. I ended up picking up a caplet cough suppressant instead of a liquid and cough drops made with aspartame instead of sugar.

I suppose that these medicines would taste horrible without sugar in them, but still -- who enjoys taking medicine? I take it because I want to feel better and not because it is tasty. To make matters worse, drug labeling is vastly different than food labeling, so I really had to look to figure out which products were sugar-free.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ten Years Thin

Eat Fresh
Originally uploaded by williamhartz
Remember Jared from Subway? He's the guy who lost nearly 100 pounds in three months eating at Subway. I've read before that the diet he ate was dangerously low calorie, but Jared has been able to keep the weight off for ten years, so he must have found something that works for him. It probably doesn't hurt that he gets big paychecks from Subway as long as he stays their thin spokesman.

I didn't change my eating plan at the beginning of February. I was planning to change to the one supposedly featured in the book The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution but it turns out that the book was only an advertisement for another, The Protein Power Lifeplan. Instead of rushing right out and buying a second book, I just stuck to Atkins. It has only been two extra weeks, but that decision is wearing on me. I miss the rush of starting something new and the motivation that naturally comes with it.

As a result, I've decided to try Jared's plan for the next two weeks -- without forking over all that money to Subway. I picked up hoagie rolls, lunch meat and vegetables from the store tonight. Adding in some baked chips, the meal comes to about 400 calories. Three of those a day will put me at the recommended minimum. We'll see how it goes, and it is only for two weeks. That should be enough to jolt me out of my current plateau and then I'll start something new for March.

Monday, February 11, 2008


No Monster, no WORK!
Originally uploaded by WasabiDoobie
Those wacky scientists and the media are at it again (still). In one week, I'm reading two different opinions on caffeine. One says that it is the best thing you can do for your body and the other says it can make you fat.
According to this month's issue of Men's Health, scientists at Harvard found that drinking five cups of coffee a day cuts the risk of developing diabetes in half. At the same time, researches at Duke University are reporting that consuming the caffeine in four cups of coffee can raise a diabetic's daily sugar level by 8%. I suppose these two things don't really conflict, since one deals with non-diabetics and the other with diabetics, but it still could lead to consumer confusion.

Well, personally, I know I'm addicted to the stuff. If I go a day or two without it, I get headaches and cranky. That is probably a bad thing, but I really don't have time to battle with the addiction. I'm thinking of doing some sort of caffeine detox on my vacation in May, but we'll see how that goes then.

Thankfully, there are plenty of caffeine sources for me to rely on in the mean time. Snickers Charged is a new candy bar that has 60 milligrams of caffeine, taurine and other vitmains in it. I'm sure it has a ton of sugar in it, so I'll be sticking to my Monster Lo-Carb. In a recent comparison of energy drinks, Monster was the all-around winner when considering both taste and energy delivered. While the ill-named Cocaine energy drink gave more energy, it apparently tasted like pure pain. Thanks, but no thanks.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I am Iron Man

Have you seen the trailer for the new Iron Man movie? It looks wicked awesome and I can't wait to see it. My birthay is in May, so I'll probably drag my wife off to see it.

So what does that have to do with weight loss and fitness? Well, apparently a lot of men my age have a superhero complex that keeps them from visiting the doctor regularly. I don't hesitate to go to the doctor when I'm sick, but I don't go when I'm healthy. The last time I was really sick, I had a leg infection and I ended up going to the doctor every few days for a month until we found the right antibiotic. After that, I think I had enough of going to the doctor for awhile.

But, I do want to schedule a physical later this year. The guys who wrote You: Staying Young recommend a number of vaccines and tests and detail how often you should get them from your doctor. According to their list, I'm due for a tetanus shot and cholesterol tests. I plan to get the cholesterol tests done soon since I'm losing weight and eating a lot of fat, but I'll be honest -- I don't want to go to the doctor right now.

Last time I was there, I was so sick I hadn't eaten for days and I was down to 405lbs. Once I got healthy, I shot back up in weight but now I feel like I haven't lost much in their eyes. If I go there and tell them I'm losing weight, they won't know just how serious I am. Apparently, I want some praise from my doctor and not another "talk" about my weight. I've heard it all from my doctors over the years -- from "it is just baby fat, don't worry" to "here, take this pill" to "you're hopeless, get bypass surgery."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sticking to Exercise

Born To Run
Originally uploaded by Cathy G
I'll admit it -- last week, I only walked one day. To make it worse, the day that I did walk was only because I wanted to get out of the lunch room and didn't have anywhere to go before my lunch ended. I did find a neat abandoned road that leads to a dead end so it has seen more traffic from geese lately than from cars.

I walked today and my plan is to keep at it since, according to a recent study, an irregular exercise pattern may add pounds. While the study focused on runners who move a lot more miles per week than I do, the advice can't hurt. Hopefully by walking more regularly, I'll build up to huge numbers like 30 miles per week.

When commenting on the study, Paul Williams of Berkeley Lab’s Life Sciences Division said:
We are getting fat because we don’t exercise sufficiently and consistently. The real solution to the obesity epidemic is getting people to exercise before they think they need it, and to stick with it. The ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Oh, really, that's today?

Football fan
Originally uploaded by Rafael PeƱaloza
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big sports fan. It is awesome when my local sports team does well, but I can't stand watching the games. I was recently at a Flyers game and after the first thirty seconds, it was boring. If it wasn't for every food related blog I read mentioning party snacks this week, I would have had no idea that today was the big game.

Of all the articles I've read this week, the most interesting one wasn't about party food. Apparently, the number of cardiac emergencies doubles during big, important sporting events and triples just when considering men. The article mentions reducing stress during the game to protect your heart but it also goes so far as to warn off fatty foods during the game.

That point struck me as odd for two reasons. First of all, bad food choices can hurt your heart health, but that quickly? If you eat a bad meal right now, does it raise your risk of heart attack in the next two minutes? Secondly, I would rather recommend people eat healthy, low-carb snacks. How many people will enjoy cola and candy at the game and think they did something good for their health? "I avoided all that fatty guacamole and steak!"

Friday, February 1, 2008

He Shoots, He Scores!

Soccer goal
Originally uploaded by ewiemann
So while I normally don't like to toot my own horn or boast, I would like to announce that for the first time in my weight loss journey, I've met one of my goals! I wanted to lose ten pounds in January and I did it! I weight from 400.8lbs to 390.4lbs, even with a few bad weekends. I could lose more if I stuck to my eating plan 100%, but I know myself and I know that my weight loss chart will always look more like a series of hills than a water slide.

I'm sure that one of my sources of motivation this past month has been this blog. Even if only a few people are reading it, I know that someone is keeping tabs on me. Sharing your goals means that if you fail, you have to tell someone!

Here we go again! February is a little shorter than January, so it will be a little harder, but I'm aiming for 380lbs by the end of the month. I've also added a Flickr photo album to my blog with the charts of my weight loss since I started. I use the tools over at the Hacker's Diet Online to track my weight because I really like the trend line. Even if I have one bad day, it lets me know that over all, I'm still losing.