Archive for February 2011

Every Day in February

With this post, I have done it. I have posted every single day for a month.

For some of you, this is not a big deal. For me, this was huge. I am not an every day kind of blogger. I’m lucky if I blog twice a week, typically.

So will I continue blogging daily in March?

Heck no. I am taking a little break. Not a blogging break, exactly, but definitely a daily blogging break. I’ve been looking at my blog’s traffic for the past month, and my traffic has increased. I consider that a good thing. If you’re here because I’ve been blogging more this month, thanks for coming by!

For the month of March, I’m going to continue my Friday weigh-ins. I’ll continue posting a new veggie dish every week. I’m going to continue doing a Run For Your Lives Training update every week, too. And for good measure, I’m going to post one other time. So I’m about to become a four-times-a-week blogger for the month of March.

This has been a fun little experiment for me. I’m sure I’ll do it again. I’ve found that it detracts somewhat from my “personal” writing time, by which time I mean I spend working on my other fiction writing. I’ll update on my February Resolution goals in the next day or two, but suffice it to say, I did not come close to making my February goal for writing. Oh well. March is a new month, right?

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Celebrating with Food

Tomorrow is a big day. It’s going to be a good day, but it’s a big day. I can’t really discuss it yet (it has nothing to do with the blog, so don’t think I’m trying to build anticipation). As soon as all associated with it is over (probably a few weeks – maybe longer), I’ll be sure to mention it here. Just know this – all is good.

And that’s what kind of leads me to this relatively short post.

When things are going good, I want to celebrate.

That’s great, right? Celebrations are awesome.

Well, not for me. I always want to celebrate with food.

If I did well on a test when I was in college, I’d stop by Wendy’s and buy six Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers and eat them on the way home.

That’s no longer my weakness. Know what my weakness is now?

Chinese buffets.

I think these are the greatest thing EVER. I realize that this is not real Chinese food, and I also realize that it is possible to eat healthy at them. I would like to mention that I do not. I always get at least one plate piled high with nothing but fried food.

In the past, celebrations always resulted in some type of food reward. Even now, there is a little part of my brain that wants me to celebrate tomorrow after work by going to the Chinese buffet and just loading up calories and promising myself that tomorrow will be a fresh start.

Not going to do it. I may celebrate, but I will not be celebrating with food this time.

What will tomorrow look like?

I’m going to workout before work. After work, I’ll come home, fix a healthy dinner, and watch TV with Tina. No Chinese buffet. I’m not swearing them off forever, but they certainly aren’t needed for every celebration.

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34 Weeks to Go and Counting: A Run For Your Lives Update

This is a quick Saturday night post. Run For Your Lives is still on, and we are still in full training mode. We did just receive word from the race organizer that DJ Pauly D will not be available for the Apocalypse Party the night of the race. Uhm, okay. To that, I only have two things to say. The only way I would EVER watch Jersey Shore is if I was guaranteed the entire cast would be eaten by zombies while I was watching, and I don’t mean some lame Halloween special. They would for real need to be eaten by zombies during the show. And then the show ends. Forever. And MTV starts playing music again. And two, if DJ Pauly D had been there, we would not have stayed. We may now stay for the Apocalypse Party, so yay for that.

Now, on to training news…

When I’m at the gym, even on weight lifting days, I always put some treadmill time in. Today, Tina and I took Malcolm to a local park and got in some walking and jogging. It’s getting easier. I’m still taking it VERY slow. I am well aware that I weigh over 350 pounds, and not many guys my size put their bodies through the stress of jogging. So slow and easy goes it, but I’m feeling my heart and lungs get stronger every day, and so long as my feet and joints stay pain-free (which they currently are), I’m going to stay the course.

I’ve slacked off a bit on the stretching, so I need to pick that up. I’m so stiff, yoga will definitely be a big help. I just need to do it more.

Zombie movie of the week?

Dawn of the Dead. 1978 version. Those zombies don’t run. That might give me a little bit of an ego boost.

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An Albert Einstein Weigh-in

Let’s just get right to it, shall we? What kind of a weigh in is this? This is an Albert Einstein weigh-in. I’ll explain in a moment.

February 25, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 359.0
Today’s Weight: 358.0
Change from All-Time High: -44.8 pounds
Change from Last Week: -1.0 pounds

Hey, I lost a pound. That’s great. Right?

Yeah, not so much. I was FLAWLESS this week. No splurges. No cheat meals. Healthy, nutrient dense food. Every point counted for. Every bite marked.

And I lost ONE pound.

One measly pound. In the words of Ned Flanders, big diddily deal.

Albert Einstein is alleged to have said, (and I roughly paraphrase), “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

I have flippin’ lost my mind, then, because I keep playing with the same few pounds. I’m tired of it.

I’m not giving up. I will NEVER give up, even if I am still struggling to get below 350 on my dying day. So… don’t worry. This isn’t going to turn into a woe-is-me-I’ll-just-die fat post. It isn’t.

But I’m not going to lie – I am FRUSTRATED to the nth degree.

So, when I realized this happened this week, when a week of SUPREME effort resulted in a loss of one pound, I decided to put on my scientist hat and try to figure out why this happened.

What are the major culprits? Let’s get those out of the way first.

Water gain caused by… salty foods… and weight lifting.

Okay, salty foods. Not going to blame that one this time. I purposefully ate very low sodium foods yesterday (i.e. – no spaghetti or popcorn, two foods that will make me gain water weight every single time). I drank lemon juice in every glass of water I had. That’s a diuretic. Can’t blame salt.

Okay, did I lift weights? Lifting weights will temporarily make me gain water weight because it engorges my muscles with blood. (And please pardon the twelve year old version of me who is now snickering in the corner because I said engorge.) Well, I can’t blame this one, either, because I did cardio yesterday. Cardio doesn’t make me gain weight, even temporarily.

Is it my thyroid? I was having some pretty ugly problems with my thyroid all last year. I don’t really think it is, because I don’t have the lethargy that came with that. I think my thyroid is fine, now. If I’m still struggling in a month, I’ll go have blood work done again, but for now, I don’t think that is the problem.

Is it stress? No, not stress. I’m happy as a clam, except for this weight loss problem.

Did I eat too much? I measured EVERYTHING, including things that I had been eyeballing before. I realized just how small a cup of cereal is. I ate less this week. Bingo.

Except for fruit.

Shit.

On the new Weight Watchers Plus, fruit is unlimited. Zero points. Is it really possible that I’ve screwed up my calorie deficit by eating FRUIT?

Okay, let’s think about this rationally. How much fruit (and veggies) might I eat in a day?

Four oranges. Three bananas. Four apples. LOTS of pineapple. Unsweetened applesauce…

Shit part deux.

I should have KNOWN this was going to happen! I cannot be given unlimited reign of ANYTHING! If I knew how to frickin’ limit myself to normal servings of food, I wouldn’t have ballooned up to 400 pounds in the first place!

“Okay, calm down, you’re scaring the twelve year old you in the corner.”

So, we’ve potentially identified the problem. How are we going to fix this?

As I see it, I have two options. One, I can continue doing Weight Watchers (which is a program I believe in, I really do) and just be more aware of my fruit.

Or I’ll just count calories. Of everything. Including fruit, which I do realize is not evil in any way, shape, or form. It’s just that 1,000 calories of fruit on top of a day of healthy eating is still 1,000 calories too many.

I’m counting calories. I’m a member of a Weight Watchers @Work meeting, and I am paid up until March 17th. I’ll continue going, because for one, I’ve already paid, and for two, I still enjoy the group atmosphere. But I’m going to count calories.

I’m still going to eat REAL food as often as possible. I think that’s just simply a matter of health. Even if I was a stick, I still think real food is preferable over processed frankenfood, which I’ll eat only in limited amounts.

I’ll continue exercising. I’ve already gotten in an excellent hour of weights and cardio at the gym. After all, I still have Run For Your Lives to train for.

And I’m going back to weighing in everyday. I promise myself I won’t freak out if my weight fluctuates a bit, day by day, but if I’m creeping steadily upward, I want to know. I may change this later, but for now, that’s where I am.

So, please don’t give up on me. I’m still trying. I swear I’m not stuffing myself with hamburgers from fast food restaurants and drinking Coke by the gallon. But I am struggling. I have my game plan. I just hope it works. And if it doesn’t, I’ll figure out why it didn’t work then.

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MyBlogSpark Giveaway: Green Giant Prize Pack

Disclaimer: I am a member of MyBlogSpark, which recently provided me with the opportunity to review this product and conduct a giveaway. I was not told to make any certain recommendation. All thoughts contained within are my own. Other than getting to keep what they sent me for myself, I am making no profit off of this giveaway.

I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to review this product. I am a big fan of veggies, especially when they are covered in cheese. To my surprise, not only was I sent a box of veggies to review, I also got this nice little assortment of goodies.

In that photo, you can see a really sturdy mixing bowl, a great spoon that has become my favorite to use in the kitchen (flexible and super easy to clean), and a pretty standard pedometer. I would honestly have paid for the bowl and spoon (and would not be opposed to having more of each in different sizes, honestly), but the pedometer is okay. It works as it is supposed to, but it is certainly nothing to write home about. (I also received a pretty nice insulated tote bag, which I do not have a picture of for some reason. The photo below is what it all looks like.) One reader will get the opportunity to win this very same prize pack, so please, keep reading for more details.

The veggies came in a separate box, which was HUGE. As soon as we saw it, we immediately suspected that instead of getting one box to review, I must be getting at least six. (Seriously.)

It did not. I got the box I was told I would receive, a bag of dry ice (to be discussed at the end of the post), and a LOT of styrofoam padding. I guess it was necessary to ship a box of veggies to me without it thawing out, but dang… that was a lot of box for one tiny box of veggies.

The nutritional information, including the extremely odd 2 and a 1/2 serving size…

And the cooking directions…

The frozen package of cheese and broccoli…

I cooked mine for 5:30 (right in-between the 4 and 7 minute suggested cook time), and it came out nicely hot. After letting it sit for a minute, I dumped it out of the package, stirred the cheese around, and took a bite (and a picture.)

So the verdict? Really good. My only complaints – there were too many broccoli stems and not enough florets. The pros – the cheese sauce tasted like cheese. It didn’t have an overly fake velveeta taste. It was actually VERY good. Depending upon the price, this is definitely something I would try again.

I would not call this box, however, two and a half servings. It would be a generous single serving (this and a grilled chicken breast would make an awesome dinner) or a rather scant two servings.

Oh, and before I get to the giveaway, let me also share something else they sent me…

Dry ice!

I must immediately disclaim – MyBlogSpark sent me very detailed directions on how to dispose of the dry ice.

Pfft. That’s no fun. I’m married to a scientist. What did we do with it? We filled the sink with hot water and I pretended I was a mad scientist for a few minutes.

Now, on to the giveaway portion of this post – if you would like to win this prize pack for yourself, MyBlogSpark is going to make that happen. (Please note that you will get a voucher in place of the actual vegetables, but everything else will be the same.) They have generous agreed to give one reader of Stellar Path this exact same assortment. You have four opportunities to win.

1. Leave a comment here, answering this question – “What is your favorite way to eat broccoli?”
2. Post this comment on twitter. “I’m entering a giveaway @stellarpath for a Green Giant Prize pack #myblogspark http://bit.ly/fXQb97” Leave a comment here saying you have left this on twitter (and please give me your twitter handle so I can follow you!)
3. Friend me on Facebook (see link in top right side of page) and leave a comment here saying that. (Or if you already do, do that, too.)
4. Mention this giveaway on your blog, and post the link in a new comment.

I’ll be doing a random number drawing on Monday, February 28th, at 7 p.m. Central Time to announce the winner. If you are entering all four ways (which is GREAT!), please make sure you leave four separate comments so you’ll have four chances.

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Randomness

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)