Weight Loss Update

The 100 Pound mark continues to elude me.  This week I lost 4 pounds.  I am now at 261, and have lost 98 pounds in the last 18 weeks.  I am 70% of the way to my reevaluation goal of 220 lbs, and only have 41 pounds to go before I reach it.  It is becoming clear that I may indeed have ‘skin issues’ when this is all over.  I knew this when I began this process, and it looks as though I may have to see a doctor to see what needs to be done.  Hopefully, some of it will just go away, but I am trying to stay realistic.  In any case, I have no regrets about where I am now, only that I wish I had never gotten so big in the first place.

Advertisements

Where’s the beef?

I have eaten a lot of fish and chicken on this diet.  I like them both, so that is OK with me.  However, I really like beef also, especially steak.  I have been getting my beef through soup and an occasional taco salad, both of which are great ways to get the great flavor of beef into your meal, but to also stretch it so that you are not ruining you diet.

This week, however, when my wife and I went to Cosco, we bought something besides the usual fish and chicken.  We bought a whole beef tenderloin.  They are expensive (I saw them anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00), but if you cut them into 6-8 oz portions, they go along way.  I got 15 fillets and a pound of stew meat off one tenderloin.  When you break it down, I only paid about $3.70 per fillet (not counting the stew meat.  That’s not bad at all.  It is important to note that if you do this you will have to trim a good bit of fat and silver-skin off the tenderloin.

The tenderloin can be used just like the chicken or fish in a meal (though it does have more calories).  For 6 oz. fillet, you only take in around 400 calories.

So, last night I got out one of the fillets, coated it with fresh cacked pepper and Kosher salt, and grilled it up.  I also grilled some mushrooms (almost no calories in these if you avoid butter and oil) and caramelized a little onion.  On the side I had a can on green beans seasoned with a few Bacos.  The steak cut like butter, and I have to say it was easily the best meal I’ve had since I began the diet, and probably for a good while before that.  This is not to say that I have not eaten well.  This meal was just especially good, and I will probably work it in about once a week from now on.

Week 16 Update:  This week I lost four pounds for a toal of 91 lbs. lost so far.  I am at 268, and am only nine pounds away from losing 100 lbs.  I am 65% of the way to my reevaluation goal at this time.

 

Accountability

Much has been made of accountability in exercise programs.  The effectiveness of accountability has been documented by many substance abuse programs including Alcoholic’s Anonymous.

When we began our weight loss programs, my wife and I made commitments to one another.  We have held each other to our commitments and have expectations that each of us will keep up our ends of the bargain on a weekly basis.

Accountability helps us because neither wants to have to admit failure to the other.  We encourage each other every week, cheering on a good week’s total weight loss, and consoling a bad week’s weight loss because we know the effort that we both have put into it.

I also feel accountable because I have decided to write about my attempts to lose weight on this blog.  My little girl also holds me accountable though she does not even know it.  Seeing her refer to the hefty male figures in her books sweetly as ‘daddy’ reminds me of my commitment to her.  All of these accountabilities have added up to help me hold myself to a successful program.

However, true person-to-person accountability is only as good as the commitment of the people who decide to be accountable to each other.  Don’t be afraid to hold people who make a commitment to you to their commitments, and don’t be afraid to ask them to hold you to yours.

 

Update: I lost 8 pounds this week and am now at 272 lbs.  That is 87 lbs in 15 weeks, and I am 62.5% of the way to my goal.  I am seeing the 100 lb mark on the horizon.  I hope to be there in three weeks.

 

Exercise

I probably should have written about this aspect of my weight loss program much earlier.  I feel that exercise has been an indispensable part of my successful weight loss up to this point.  When I started this program, I also started walking about 30 minutes a day.  Soon I increased that to 45 minutes.  Now I try to walk every day that I can between 45 minutes and 1½ hours.

At first, I had to make myself get out and do this every day, but now I feel jittery if I have not had my daily walk.  I have also increased my speed.  Eventually, I would like to turn this into a jog or run, but at 280 lbs, and with a history of knee problems in my family, I will hold that off until I am a little thinner.

Because I have a responsibility to take care of my child in the afternoons and evenings, and she takes late naps, I do not have a lot of time after work to get in exercise.  I use my lunch and breaks at work to get my walking done.  I am lucky to work at a place that has a large area where I can get out and walk.  I have a cell phone, and am always on-call when I am in the facility.  This works for me because the director has also been nice enough to allow me to take my lunches early before it gets too hot.  If I get a call while I am walking on my lunch, I simply put the walk on hold and service the customer until I can continue the exercise.

Another way I have found to get exercise is to walk to where I am needed at work.  I work at a large facility that has several large buildings within the same complex.  I can get called to assist someone anywhere on the grounds.  I have a cart at my disposal, but I have been walking to my calls lately.  It really does not take me any longer, because I do not have to wait for the cart to warm up, and I get exercise through the walk.

Finally, on the weekends, my family (me, my wife and daughter) go to the park on Saturday and Sunday.  There is a large greenbelt that is interconnected throughout the city.  We take our little red wagon, and park at the City Hall.  This allows us to walk 1½ miles on nice shaded trails to a park with recreation equipment where my little girl can play.  She loves it, until it is time to leave, and we get to spend some quality time together.  When we leave, we walk back to the car, and get that much more exercise.

I have had a lot of success so far with this program, and I hope you can find the time to walk also.

 

Update:   I lost only 1 pound this week.  These weeks are always a little disappointing.  I put in the same effort, eat the same things, but do not get the same results.  I guess that is just the nature of any weight loss program.  I will do as I have done in the past.  I will continue the program as is for another week, before I make any changes to what I am doing.  In the past, these bad weeks always seem to be followed up by a good week with no changes to what I am doing.

As of today, I have lost 79 lbs in 14 weeks.  I now weigh 280, and am 60 lbs away from my goal/reevaluation weight.

Motivation and Positive Self Image

I actually had a revelation watching Paul McKenna’s show.  I don’t think it had anything to do with his point this week, but as I watched the program, I began to reevaluate my own program and motivations.  His point this week was to help people to stop criticizing and start loving themselves (I like the way I said it better).  I do not think I personally have an issue with this.  I have a strong self image that comes partly from my religion and partly from my own ego.  However, there have been all of those failed battles with weight in the past.  What is different about this one?

I think that writing this blog has been a part of it.  I have committed to chronicling what is happening this time.  I also have kept statistics on my progress (See my other blog entries for more info on how I’ve done and what I am doing). 

But as I stated earlier, Paul McKenna’s program this week prompted me to look even deeper.  I looked at and evaluated my attitudes toward myself.  I asked myself, “Why do I have a positive self image while all of the other people in his audience have a negative self image?”  I began to think of the areas that give me a positive self image.  I’ll just deal with a couple of the biggies.  Since I am being completely honest, I think I am a pretty smart guy.  I don’t want to deal too much with this, however because I am quickly destroying my sense of humility which I feel is another good point.

These points are good, but they were no real eye openers.  I hit the nail on the head when I thought about being a father.  I’m a good dad, and I put most of my efforts into this.  As I’ve stated before, my wife and I work different schedules.  This has forced (allowed) me to be a much more integral part of my little girl’s life than a lot of fathers.  Helping her to grow into a good and happy person is my biggest obsession.  And, this is where I hit pay-dirt.  I realized that I have compartmentalized my weight loss.  I moved it from just being ‘how I take care of myself’ to ‘part of what it is for me to be a good and responsible father.’  I gave myself a burden when I began to realize that taking care of her is my biggest responsibility.  I want to be there for her, to see the important parts of her life (for myself), and to make sure that I can meet all of her needs.  I do not want her to have the burden of a 50 something sick parent that forces her to drop out of college to take care of him, or be guy that has the fatal heart attack and is not at her graduation or there to walk her down the aisle.

She is my motivation and my self esteem.  I am already a thin and healthy person in my mind for her, it’s just going to be a few more months before I get there in reality.

 

Tuesday Update:  This week I lost 7 pounds.  This puts me at 78 pounds lost in 13 weeks.  I am at 281 and am 61 pounds away from my reevaluation/goal weight.

 

Coffee

I have taken up a vice as I started this diet.  In the mornings, I have started drinking a four cup pot of coffee.  I think this has been a big part of my success.  I have always liked coffee, black with cream, sugar or both, but I have always been able to take or leave it, and still feel that way.  However, I find that having the coffee when I get to the office in the morning has several benefits.

First, I am able to put something hot and refreshing in my stomach at the beginning of the day.  I do not eat breakfast (I know this flies in the face of most dietary wisdom, but it works for me), and this keeps me from getting hungry before lunch.

Second, the energy that I get from the caffeine is nice in the mornings. And three, I feel that drinking something with zero calories in the early mornings wakes up my metabolism and helps me to start burning calories (I am not a physician, and this is just my opinion).

As far as liquids in general go, I am drinking Coffee, iced tea and water.  Recently I have started drinking an occasional Diet Dr. Pepper.  I don’t know if it’s just the passing of time since I have had anything with sugar in it, but I really like the Diet Dr Pepper.  I do not drink milk, juice or anything with sugar in it.  These drinks are a great way to ruin a diet.

 

Update: I lost 4 lbs. this week, and am now at 288.  This puts me at 71 pounds lost in 12 weeks, and more importantly, I am more that half way to my goal.

I Can Make You Thin with Paul McKenna

I found it interesting that one of the first things he said during the show was that it was not an infomercial, because watching it I felt the whole time as if I were watching an infomercial.  I was relieved when he had nothing to sell, but the open did mention the fact that he is an author.

This guy may actually be English, but I think the British/Australian accent in most infomercials and documentaries needs to finish running its course.  It is a fact that Americans think people with British/Australian accents are smart.  It doesn’t seem to matter that England runs a close second to only France in its inability to prosecute a war successfully without the help of the US (see WWI, WWII, both gulf wars, India and the Falkland Island conflicts for examples).  It boggles my mind that a country would insist on continuing to pay exorbitant taxes ($70,000,000 a year) to support a royal figurehead family that has nothing to do with the governance of the country simply because they like the idea of having a queen.  This is also a country that has steadfastly refused to change its social mores, and accept the necessity of modern dentistry.  The Australians, on the other hand, are a just bunch of America wannabes who sprouted from the loins of convicts that the British shipped out.  But I guess we Americans have slotted ourselves by continually showing that we think Brits and Aussies are smarter than we are.

Aside from the accent, I found the show to be extremely repetitive.  At times, it was like listening to a cheerleader or someone excitedly chanting a mantra.  Many of the shows on Discovery, TLC, the Food Network and others of this ilk could learn a lot from the following statement.  If you do not have enough content to fill an hour, cut the show down to 30 minutes.  I do not need the constant repetition and the complete recap of the show after every break.  I have a DVR, and I will rewind the show if I miss or forget something. The Biggest Loser could easily be cut down to an hour if they simply removed the recaps.

 

As far as the content of the show goes, McKenna spends the first few minutes talking down diets.  Most of this sounds like catch phrases.  “Diets are nothing more than training courses in how to get fat”, “Diets are why half of America is overweight,” and “If you are overweight, it’s not your fault.”  To be truthful, his plan, so far, is a diet.  He is modifying the way people eat (more of this in a moment), and honestly, if you are overweight, it is your (and my) fault.  You are the one who puts the food in your mouth, and you are the one who does not exercise.  It is apparent that some lifestyle modification is required to result in losing weight.

He makes some sweeping statements that just are not true.  While some people do fail at diets, there are lots of people who find a diet that works for them, and have success.  This is the real secret of a successful diet: finding a diet that works for you, and sticking to it.  I’m sure his program has a failure rate just like any diet, but I doubt he will say anything about it.

He presents “four golden rules that can really be summed up in one statement.  When you are hungry, eat what you like, but eat it slowly so you will feel full sooner.  He acts as if this is a great revelation, but it is really something my mother has told me for years.  The regimen of chewing bites 20 times and paying attention to the food that is being eaten will play well with the OCD crowd, which probably explains some of his success since a lot of people who are overweight are OCD in the first place.

I will continue to watch the show and glean what I can out of it.  I am sure there will be nuggets that I can apply to my own program.  I am also sure this program will be the answer that some are looking for, and I hope that it works for them.

 

This week’s update:  This week I lost 1 pound.  I worked hard this week, and it is a little disappointing that I did not lose more, but I was prepared for this moment.  As the old knight at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade says, “I knew this day would come.”  I have gotten to the point where the weight is not going to just fall off of me anymore.  From this point on, I will see varying results from week to week.  In the past three weeks, I have lost 7,0,8 and1 pounds respectively.  The point is that on the whole, I am still meeting my goals.  I will continue to eat the same, and exercise, and trust that over the long haul, I will continue to see positive results.  One very positive aspects of losing a pound this week is that I have now lost 56lbs on 9 weeks and the 1 lb loss put me over 40% of the way to my goal.

Paul McKenna Stuff

I Can Make You Thin With Paul McKenna

I Can Make You Crazy With Paul McKenna

Who Is Paul McKenna Anyway?

I Can Make You Thin- Busting Your Carvings

I Can Make You Thin- Supercharge Your Metabolism

I Can Make You Thin, Part 5- Your Perfect Body

Lists