Archive for February 2011

An I’m Struggling Weigh In

Every time I think I have it, something happens that proves to me I do not. It’s always time to reevaulate, and that is what I’m doing this week.

Yesterday, I posted this picture and said that this represents my weight loss journey this week.

Why is that?

Because as I see that photo, the person is struggling. Yes, they are trying to reach a mighty goal, and they might succeed…

…but at the moment, they are dangling off of a rock. In my mind, they are closer to utterly falling to failure than making it to success.

Am I being too bitter and pessimistic?

Yeah, probably. I need to get it out of my system for a minute. Don’t worry; as soon as I post my weigh-in results for this week, I’ll let you know my game plan.

February 18, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 356.6
Today’s Weight: 359.0
Change from All-Time High: -43.8 pounds
Change from Last Week: +2.4 pounds

I’ve been counting my points. Weight Watchers emphasizes making healthy choices.

I’ve only been counting my points. I have not been making healthy choices. That is the ONLY thing that I can see I am doing wrong here, so therefore, that is what I must change.

Some people say that a calorie is a calorie.

I call crap on that statement. When I was in my mid-twenties, it did work that way. As I am getting older, my metabolism changes. If you can lose weight eating fast food several times a week and just keeping your calories under control, then good for you. You have the benefit of youth and a faster metabolism than most on your side. For those of us in our thirties, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. We have to watch our calories AND be mindful of what we fuel our bodies with.

Experience on MULTIPLE occasions has shown that, for me, this is not the case. I can keep my calories (or points – same diff) under tight control, but if I have made poor food choices, I will not lose weight.

Craig recently posted a NINE pound weight loss, and he did it by watching what he ate and cleaning up his diet.

So, how have I been eating?

I have a little confession to make. I’m a Mystery Shopper. Usually two or three times a week, I go to a fast food restaurant, order a certain meal, time how long it takes for the food to come to me, eat said meal to evaluate the food, and then go home, report my results, and I get reimbursed for my meal and usually an extra $5 to $30. It has been decent money for doing something that is pretty easy.

And it’s wreaking havoc on my health.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t pretend that these calories don’t count. I have been counting every single bite that goes in my mouth, and I am not overeating otherwise.

I’m finding that if I eat three or four fast food hamburgers a week, even counting those calories, I can’t lose weight.

A friend recommend that I try eating very healthy and clean, just to give me more energy to train for the Run For Your Lives 5K in October. What do I have to lose?

I’m putting Mystery Shopping on the back burner for a while. Yes, that extra $200 a month or so is amazingly good money for a job that doesn’t even really take much time, but my health is worth far more to me than $200 a month. I’ll try and find another way to make some extra income to help pay the bills. Anyone need a copywriter? My wife knits – want to buy a baby blanket?

But seriously, money isn’t everything. Tina and I talked about this last night. What good is it making an extra $200 a month to help pay down some credit card debt if I’m going to die in my forties because I can’t get my obesity under control?

I know that I won’t eat clean for every meal for the rest of my life. It isn’t possible. Holidays and parties will come up. I’ll feel the urge to have a Papa Johns Pizza sometimes.

I’m going to shoot for 90% healthy and 10% whatever. Somedays will be 100% healthy. I’m going to try and use the next week for a cleanse as much as possible, so I’m hoping to be 100% for the next week.

There are TONS of great meals we can make that are going to be 100% clean and healthy for us. I don’t even have to give up homemade pizza. Tina is making a crust tonight out of whole wheat flour. I just have to limit my indulgences and always go for the healthier option.

This is my body. My vehicle. I have to give it the best fuel I possibly can. Why should I cram a fast food hamburger down my gullet when I can create a similar food masterpiece at home that might even taste better that will be better for me in all possible ways?

Let me return to my photo. I’ve been struggling. I don’t deny that. I don’t apologize for it, and I’m not saying this for sympathy. Every weight loss blogger I’ve ever known who has had any degree of success as has struggled to some degree or another. I’m certainly no different.

So yes, that rock climber is struggling. How else does that photo match my experience?

He has equipment to help him succeed. I have Weight Watchers, I have people reading my blog who offer tons of support (seriously – I love you people!), I have family and friends who want to see me do well, and I currently have a kitchen stocked full of healthy, clean, nourishing foods.

He clearly isn’t climbing alone, or there wouldn’t have been anyone to take the picture. I’ve got the aforementioned people, and I’m certainly not the only fat person in the world struggling to lose weight.

He has a beautiful destination ahead of him, and he’s going to reach it soon.

So am I.

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A Picture to Represent My Thoughts

This is a really short post today. If I hadn’t sworn to myself I’d post once a day in the month of February, I wouldn’t even post this, but I don’t want to break my streak.

I’m weighing in tomorrow. I’ll talk more about that then.

For today, I’m posting a picture to represent my thoughts about the entire weight loss journey.

Tomorrow, I’ll explain what I mean.

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Heroes of The Biggest Loser

I mentioned a few days ago that I am a reluctant fan of The Biggest Loser. I think it has the potential to be inspiring; more often than not, I think it is just an excuse for people greedy for money to go on a reality show and pretend that the only way they can lose weight is on The Biggest Loser.

Part of that really makes me angry. There are THOUSANDS of us who lose weight without the crutch of The Biggest Loser. I’d really respect a contestant if they’d just say, “You know what, I could do this at home, but I want to win the money, so I’m going to do everything I can to stay here.” I’d even respect the dirtiest game play EVER if someone would just say that. Not do it, because a lot have done it under the “but I can’t lose weight at home” sobfest. I mean actually come out and say, “I want to win the money.”

But God help me, I still like this show. Every season, I tend to pick one person who just appeals to me. They’re my heroes of The Biggest Loser. I did not watch every season; seasons three, four, and six are forever lost. The rest I did watch, and I’ll be honest – I really enjoy it. So I now present to you my list of the heroes (as I see them) of The Biggest Loser’s various seasons (that I’ve watched).

Oh, and if you don’t really know me that well, you may not know that I’m pretty much a bigger feminist than some women I know and yes, this list will be very female-centric. There have been guys on TBL that I’ve liked, too, but they won’t tend to show up too much on this list.

Season One – Kelly MacFarland

Maybe I liked her because she was a comedian. She was funny. She was a fighter. She had a bit of a sarcastic edge to her that some contestants didn’t care for, but unlike others in her season, she wasn’t mean about it. And unlike the winner of that season, she kept the weight off.

Season Two – Suzy Preston

She was the sweetheart of this season, and she placed in the top three. Actually, for this season, I really liked all three of the final contestants, but Suzy was my favorite. While she has shared her public struggles with her weight, she has clearly remained dedicated to at least living a healthy lifestyle.

Season Five – Ali Vincent

Ali Vincent was a big favorite by the end of the season, but she was gone for over seven weeks. That’s what really makes her win amazing, and why she remains one of my favorites. She succeeded OFF the ranch.

Season Seven – Tara Costa

Tara Costa is how I picture when I think of The Biggest Loser. She is an amazing athlete, she’s freaking hot (that’s probably not a very feminist statement, is it?), and she didn’t starve herself down to unrealistic numbers just to win. I’m still very pleased to see her pop up in TBL-themed promos here and there. I don’t think I’m alone in finding her an amazing contestant.

Season Eight – Amanda Arlauskas

Season eight is one of my least favorites the show has EVER had. However, there were a few shining gems, and one of them was Amanda. She made it to the final three, and she was sweet. In a season filled with such ugliness, she was a shining beacon.

Season Nine – Stephanie Anderson

I was blown away when Stephanie was voted off, because I really thought she might win it. Although this season has the reputation for being the season with “no game play,” I personally believe she was eliminated as a game play move. While she may not have won the big prize, she did find the love of her life on the show. I find it interesting that a show about weight loss is racking up much better numbers of romantic hookups than any of the disgusting “romance” reality shows out there.

Season Ten – Ada the Terminator Wong

This was another season that I didn’t particularly care for, just because the triumvirate of evil of Frado, Brendan, and Patrick (I still don’t get why some people view him as a good guy – I thought he was as evil as any player EVER on the show) almost ruined it for me. I barely finished this season on Hulu. However, I did like Ada, and I would have LOVED to see her win. She was a Tara Costa-level athlete and she was just fun to watch. It pained me to watch the family struggles she had to endure, and I really loved seeing her fellow contestants be her surrogate family.

Season Eleven – Courtney Crozier

She’s far and away my favorite of the current season. There are other contestants that I like, but she’s just got the right attitude. She drops big numbers pretty consistently, and you never hear her crying, “But I only lost eight pounds! I should have lost seventeen!” She was a loser before the show, and she’s continuing to be a loser on the show. I hope she wins the grand prize.

I’m realizing, looking at this list, that I’m going to need to come back and write a list of my favorite guys from The Biggest Loser. There are guys in each season that I like, and after I write my Biggest Loser Villains post, I’ll come back to it.

Who do you like? Any glaring omissions from my list?

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Veggie Dish #7 – Honeyed Parsnips

In an effort to eat more vegetables, we’re expanding out to vegetables and fruits that we have never eaten. I personally hope to get the chance to try Durian some time this year, even though I’ve heard it’s quite unpleasant and I have NO idea where I could even buy it.

But there are some vegetables that I see every week at Kroger or Wal-Mart, and I’ve decided it’s time to try a more common vegetable.

This week.. parsnips!

They look like white carrots, and they have a vague carrot-y smell, too.

I went to, my go-to when I need to find a random recipe, and I found a nice one for honeyed parsnips. I like honey; this should be good, right? And it was crazy easy, which is a plus.

To start with, you just peel and wash five or so parsnips.

Dice them up.

Mix one tablespoon of melted butter, 1/2 cup of hot water, and 1/2 cup of honey. Toss in the parsnips and bake at 350 for thirty minutes or until soft.

The verdict?

Parsnips are gross.

The honey was a nice flavor, but the horseradish-y carrot-y flavor just wasn’t that pleasant. I might try these again another way, but for now, all I can say is that I know why my mother never forced this awful vegetable on me as a child.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I keep promising to do a blog post about the heroes and villains of the Biggest Loser, and I still plan to, but things keep coming up.

One thing that I have learned this February – I don’t think I’m that good at daily blogging. I think I’m good at three times a week blogging, sometimes four, which is what I’ll resume in March. However, I said I would do it daily in February, and I plan to keep trying.

Today is Valentine’s Day! I’ve waxed poetic about my lovely wife on my blog many times, so I’m not going to subject you to that. We’re still newlyweds and we’re still kind of icky and gross when it comes to romance. All I can say is that my life has turned out better than I ever thought it could.

In the past, way before Tina or pretty much any girlfriend I ever had, I used to think that I needed to be perfectly fit and thin before I could find anyone to love me.

I had very limited, minimal success with dating.

My self-esteem was so low. Looking back, I almost shudder to think of the poor mess some of the girls I dated had to put up with. I’m not exaggerating – I thought VERY little of myself, and I have no doubt that it showed in every conversation I had with them.

But even as I was obese, I finally began to improve my self-esteem. It was with the help of a good friend that I figured out I did have worth. I was worthy of dating, even if I weighed over 300 pounds.

After several AWFUL girlfriends (and a few girls who were perfectly fine but just not for me), I found my perfect fit and my best friend.

So… my point of this post?

If you are overweight and you aren’t dating because you feel like you are a work in progress, go ahead and try. There is someone out there who won’t care what you look like.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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