Archive for March 2011

Stellar Review – Smart Ones Peanut Butter Cup Sundae

During my relatively short time here at Stellar Path, I’ve gotten the chance to review a few products. In all cases up ’til now, I have been given the product free of charge to try. But recently, during a trip to the supermarket, I saw a product that I thought looked interesting. And I have therefore decided I am going to periodically review products that I purchase with my hard-earned money. You’ll be getting two viewpoints per product, one from me and one from my lovely wife Tina (who also blogs over at Ruffled Love).

Does the name Stellar Review sound a touch pretentious? I’m not saying my reviews are Stellar, but the review is here at Stellar Path… it’s kinda like my short-lived cooking show, Stellar Cooks… *sigh* I swear I’m not so full of myself that I think everything I produce is stellar, but I’m clearly trying to create a brand here…

Anyhow, on to this review of Smart Ones Peanut Butter Cup Sundae.

Price I Paid: $1.88
Contains Two Servings

That picture looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to open it up and see that beautiful, photogenic food.

Okay, not quite as pretty… but hey, looks aren’t everything. Let’s see how it tastes!

My Reaction: Holy crap. This is AMAZINGLY good! The brownie beneath the ice cream was delicious, the ice cream itself was creamy, the chocolate syrup tasted real, and the peanut butter cups were pretty tiny but still Reese’s worthy.

Tina’s Reaction: “I would so eat this again. Do you have another one? Right now?”

Pros: It really does taste incredible. Yeah, it’s not a ton of food, and I am always skeptical of “diet” products that claim to be healthy just because it is a small serving size. However, that being said, if you want a taste of ice cream, isn’t it better to eat a small, calorie-controlled portion (at 170 calories, not bad) than buy a pint and eat 1,600 calories before you know what hits you? Oh, and easy prep. Just let it defrost at room temperature for five minutes.

Cons: Small serving, but again, I can almost justify that as a pro, too. Loaded full of chemicals. This is apparently unavoidable in freezer food, so unless you want to go to the trouble of making the entire thing yourself, that’s going to be really tough to accomplish.

Would definitely buy again. At less than $2 (it may have been on sale when I bought it) for a little splurge-y dessert for two, I’d even call this one a bargain.

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A Steady Downhill Jog Weigh-In

I’m calling this one a Steady Downhill Jog Weigh-In.

The info…

March 18, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 355.1
Today’s Weight: 354.7
Change from All-Time High: -48.1 pounds
Change from Last Week: -0.4 pounds

First of all, yay! I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy to see a loss on the scale as I was this particular morning. I know, it’s not much, but I’ll explain why I’m totally okay with that in just a minute. But first… my measurements!

The last time I did them was on February 4th, when they looked like this:

Chest: 52 1/2″
Stomach: 60 3/4″
Bicep: 17 1/4″

And today?

Chest: 51 1/4″
Stomach: 58 1/4″
Bicep: 16 1/2″

I did a 5K last night in 50:22. I ran for FIVE minutes straight. Seriously, you don’t know how freaking huge that is for me! And this is why I’m pleased to show any loss on the scale at all today.

First of all, I’ve been counting my calories religiously. #7daychip is the greatest diet tool ever, in my opinion, but I’ll talk about that more in a different post as soon as I’ve officially earned it. (Currently on Day 5. Go me!)

However, as we all know, it is SO easy to mess up the scale with a water or salt imbalance problem. The true weight loss is still there, but it’s hard to see and for some of us who still stupidly live and die by the scale (*raises hand*), that can be frustrating. On Tuesday, I weighed in at 359.3 for PhysicsDiet. That number FREAKED me out. I promptly put the scale up until Friday. It clearly does not do me good to weigh in daily. Back to once a week, just for my mental health. Someday, I’m sure it won’t bother me, but for now, it does.

Anyway, last night after work (later after work), I went to the gym and did my 50:22 5K on the treadmill. I went straight from work, so I was completely without water during the 5K, and on top of that, I didn’t stay very hydrated yesterday at work. So as soon as I got home, my body cried out for water, and I drank half a gallon before bed. It’s just water. That’s good for me.

When I woke up this morning, I barely had to pee at all. Normally, if I drink that much immediately before bed, I’d be up to pee at least twice during the night. Not once, and barely any in the morning… My first thought as I got on the scale was, “Oh crap… Who knows what this number will be, because my hydration was all screwed up.” So when that 354.7 popped up, I did a happy dance. I may have only loss 0.4 pounds, but I may have lost even more and it just hasn’t shown up yet. Maybe I’ll post a HUGE number next week, who knows? But regardless, my inches show I’ve done pretty well in the past month and a half, so I’m pleased all the way around. No matter what, I am smaller now than I was in February. Woo hoo!

My first 5K (which I will do as a walk/jog combination) is coming up in a week. If you read my last post, I’ve decided to tackle the job of doing a 5K for every pound I’ve lost. I may have to eliminate a few of the ones I initially posted due strictly to financial matters, but I’m not dropping it and I’m still going to do as many as I possibly can. I’m going to keep an “upcoming races that I have already paid for” list in my sidebar, so if you’re reading this in a blog reader, you can hop over to my webpage to see that.

Good end to a good week. How was yours?

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

I’m really starting to enjoy jogging. In fact, I am enjoying it so much that I’ve had to back off a little bit.

Did you know when you are just starting out and still weigh over 350 pounds, it isn’t a good idea to do a 5K on the treadmill EVERY day? Whoda thunk it? I’m aiming for about three 5Ks a week right now (all currently on the treadmill). I’m still not jogging a straight 5K yet, but you know what? It can take people a while to actually do that. But I know I’ll get there, and hopefully, by October 22nd. My fastest time right now is 51:23. I’m slowly building up to jogging longer and longer sections of time without quitting.

The 5K bug has bit me. When Tina and I signed up for Run For Your Lives (takes place October 22, 2011), we knew that would not be our first 5K. Last week, I talked about signing up for the Buffalo Crossing 5K in my hometown of Munfordville. We picked it because it had the benefit of offering a walking 5K in addition to the running. Given that I don’t quite run yet, that was perfect.

And then I had a thought… Bear with me here, it may get a bit circuitous.

I used to weigh 403 pounds. I’m going to brag on me here for a minute. The guy who weighed 403 pounds NEVER would have expected his slimmer self in the future (if such a slimmer self even existed) would ever become a runner. So kudos to me for taking this first step, even if it is a walking/jogging 5K I’m doing first.

My ultimate goal weight is 180 pounds. That’s a LONG way away. I may get to 220 and decide, “Hey, this is perfect for me,” and that’s great. But I could also get to 180 and say, “You know, I could stand to lose five or ten more pounds.” (Unlikely because I already have a fair amount of muscle from lifting weights for the past three years, but you never know.) So for the sake of simplicity, let’s say that my goal weight, the weight I’ll want to stay at, is 180.

That means I’ll have lost 223 pounds by the time I get there. There are some obese people who start out their journey at 223 pounds.

That’s a big number. I want to do something with it to celebrate that number… getting it off of my body. Despite the fact that I have one already, I’m not a tattoo guy and don’t want it on my skin… (although that would be a cool tattoo)…

And this weekend, it came to me.

I’m going to celebrate every pound lost with a 5K. Not on the treadmill, an actual here’s-money-for-charity-where’s-my-free-t-shirt 5K. Two hundred and twenty-three different 5Ks. And besides, if I decide 180 isn’t my right goal weight, then the number will change. I’m just sticking to 223 for now as a place to start. That number may change.

I know it’ll take me years. I’m totally cool with that. Best case scenario – I’ve got a good two years ahead of me to lose the rest of this weight. So I better get cracking, right?

My rules – it can be a walking, running, or mix 5K. At some point during these 223 5Ks, I must do a Krispy Kreme Challenge. (The University of Kentucky actually offers a 5K version of this for charity. And this one will occur AFTER I have reached goal weight. I’m not doing that kind of damage to my body while I’m still losing weight.) Obstacle Course 5Ks are allowed. And I must get the t-shirt, and even if it doesn’t fit, I’m taking a picture of me wearing it to post here on the blog. That means you’ll probably see me in a few skintight t-shirts here in the beginning, but that’s okay. This is about celebrating me and the weight I’ve lost and am still losing, man boobs (which will someday be gone, yay!) and all.

Why 5Ks? Why not 10Ks? Why not Fun Runs? Why not marathons? Because 5Ks are held EVERYWHERE and they are held all the time. Literally year round. It’s a nice short distance (although I’m still in training, so 3.1 miles still seems like a long way to me) but it requires enough of an effort for me that I’ve had to train for it. I’m sure by the time I’ve done 223 of these, I’ll think they are easy. But I’ll always remember how it felt the first time I did one at the gym. That 5K did not feel easy at all. But it’s still easier than every excess pound that I used to (and still do, albeit not QUITE as many) haul around every day.

Oh, and another benefit? Tina and I are always talking about how we should give more to charities. We usually don’t. This way, I will be. (And incidentally, if you would be interested in sponsoring me for a 5K, please drop me a line at jeremy@stellarpath.net and let me know.)

This isn’t something I’m going to start working on later. I’m doing this NOW. After all, 223 5Ks aren’t going to run themselves. This is what I’ve already signed up for. (As in, filled out the registration form and mailed in the checks. [Note: Some are just listed on my local road runner’s webpage, so I technically haven’t registered yet.])

1. March 26th – Total Fitness Connection’s Run and Walk for Children, Bowling Green, KY
2. April 2nd – Buffalo Crossing 5K, Munfordville, KY
3. April 9th – Goose Creek 5K, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, KY (1st of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
4. April 16th – Butterflies for Maddie, Glasgow, KY
5. May 14th – Barren River 5K, at Barren River State Park in Glasgow, KY (2nd of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
June 11th – Possum Ridge 5K, at Taylorsville Lake State Park in Taylorsville, KY (3rd of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
6. June 24th – Huskers 5K, East Prairie, Missouri (maybe – not registered for this one yet, but I may be in Sikeston, MO, this weekend, and if I am, I’m going to get a 5K in, too.)
7. July 9th – Rough River 5K, at Rough River State Park in Falls of Rough, KY (4th of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
8. September 5th – Run for Sight 5K, Bowling Green, KY
9. September 24th – RooBear 5K, Bowling Green, KY
10. October 15th – The Medical Center Classic, 5K, Bowling Green, KY
11. October 22nd – Run For Your Lives Zombie-Infested 5K Obstacle Course, Darlington, MD (the 5K that started it all for me)

More will be added as I come across them. I hope to cover as many different races in as many states as I possibly can. I know I’m undertaking a HUGE, multi-year task, but I honestly can’t wait. And this means that someday, I’ll have a tote (or two) in my garage filled with 223 5K t-shirts. But those totes of t-shirts will still weigh less than the 223 pounds I used to haul around every day with every step.

Okay, back to zombie 5K news. Next time I’m in the gym, I’m going to up my running time. I was doing 1:15 of running to 1:45 of walking. I’m about to increase to two minutes of running to three minutes of walking. Let’s see how it goes!

Zombie movie of the week?

Let’s watch a good one this week. I loved the original, but honestly, I thought the 1990 remake was better. (Mostly because this Barbara was a kick-ass heroine and wasn’t catatonic for 95% of the movie.)

Night of the Living Dead, the 1990 Remake.

Also yoga, for stretching. And I have a theory that stretchy muscles won’t be as tasty, so hopefully, the zombies won’t go back for a second bite if they do catch me.

How are you training for the upcoming zombie apocalypse?

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New Years’ Resolution Update: March Edition

It’s time that I mentioned my resolution update for the month of March, isn’t it? Especially now that the month is HALF FREAKING OVER. When did that happen? Who took the first half of March? Well, enjoy, because the April update will be coming in about two and a half weeks. *sigh* Is time going faster because I’m getting older?

Lose 120 pounds.
February’s Goal: To get below 352
The verdict: It didn’t happen, but that’s okay. I weighed 364.2 when the year started. Last Friday, I weighed 355.1 Okay, it took me two months to lose that, but you know what, I am apparently a slow loser. I yearn for the day when the weight suddenly just falls off of me like hot butter, (mmm… butter), but that day isn’t here yet. For now, I’ll cherish every pound I lose, no matter how long it takes. I’m not going to change my resolution to lose 120 pounds, even though I can realistically say that it looks less and less likely that is going to happen. But you know what? If I weigh fifty pounds less on January 1, 2012, I’m still going to consider my weight loss in 2011 a success.
March’s Goal: To get below 350.

Bench press 180 pounds.
February’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.
The verdict: Not yet. I tried, but I hit a wall on my bench press. I may have even tried to do too much too fast. I can do 140 one rep (not a big deal – everyone can do more on one rep than a set), but I want to do 180 as a set, not a one-time look-what-I-can-do kind of thing. (Honestly, I *might* be able to do 180 now as one-set-who-cares-about-form. Not my idea of fun or an accomplishment, so I’m not even trying.) So we’ll keep at it.
March’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.

Eat 52 new vegetarian dishes over the course of the year.
February’s Goal: Report on all four February dishes and plan out all four of March’s.
The verdict: I am getting rid of this resolution. It has become a chore. I’m very picky when it comes to fruit and veggies, and I’m finding that yeah, I have tried most of what is available around here, and I like what I like and I hate what I hate. Parsnips suck. I’m still eating healthy, and in fact, I have recently learned that I love salads with salsa as dressing. Who knew? So this one is going bye bye and will not make another appearance until December 31, 2011, when I post my yearly review and proclaim this resolution as DEAD. I do have a foodie thing coming soon (later this week), but I’m not going to hold myself to a firm schedule or try to increase my taste buds. More info soon, I promise.

Become an ACE certified personal trainer with at least two clients by year’s end.
February’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.
The verdict: *sheepish look* Work was really busy, okay! But I am working my way through Chapter One. I’ve got ‘til August to take the test… and I’ve got a great idea for getting clients AFTER my certification… Look, I’ll do better this month.
March’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.

Complete (and edit) that young adult novel that keeps popping up in my brain.
February’s Goal: Write 8,000 more words on my young adult novel.
The verdict: Woo hoo! Success! I found my muse for a few days and got out my required 8,000 words plus a few thousand more. Best yet, I am LOVING this story, and I can’t wait to share it when everyone!
March’s Goal: Write 5,000 more words on my young adult novel.

Attempt to have my watercolor paintings put up in the gallery at the local library.
February’s Goal: Paint at least two paintings in my series.
The verdict: Apparently, I can only have one creative muse inspired at a time. The watercolor muse has taken a hike. Hopefully, that can be reclaimed in March.
March’s Goal: Paint at least ONE painting in my series.

Create an online store to sell my photographs, space paintings, and watercolor paintings (and other arty things, including light-up wine bottles).
February’s Goal: Open store.
The verdict: I did it! Not much in it yet (one item) and no sale, but my store at etsy at least exists! Please check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/stellarpath and buy stuff, okay? I’m poor and need to make monies!

Build my first ever snowman.
February’s Goal: Make a snowman, even if it is a tiny snowman.
The verdict: Did it! Already posted about it! http://www.stellarpath.net/2011/02/resolution-accomplished/ Yay snowman!

Send 100 letters out through The Mail Project.
February’s Goal: Mail out fifteen letters, eight for February and seven that I missed in January.
The verdict: Well I suck-diddly-uck. You know, when you love your job, it’s easy to get busy with work. And I’ve honestly been so busy, a LOT of stuff like this went by the wayside. Don’t give up on me, though. The Mail Project will be coming back!
March’s Goal: Mail out five letters. Easy and doable. Just do it.

Take Tina to Las Vegas after she graduates.
February’s Goal: Put this one on the back burner until May 2011 when I re-evaluate our finances.
The verdict: Still backburnered.
March’s Goal: Will remain backburnered until Tina graduates.

Visit at least one more National Park.
February’s Goal: Reference the Vegas trip.
The verdict: Ditto. Not yet.
March’s Goal: Will remain backburnered until Tina graduates.

Begin work on my doctorate.
February’s Goal: Back burnered until May 2011.
The verdict: I’ve been toying with this one for a while, and I’m giving it SERIOUS thought to waiting until after I’ve started a family to seriously pursue my doctorate. I know it will take a LOT of hard work, and I want to give it my all when I finally do start. I’ll still pursue educational pursuits in the time being, but I think babies might be more in my future before an Ed or Ph.D. are. (And no, we’re not having babies YET.)

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I Think I Like Running Weigh-In

I think I like running.

More in a sec. Let me get my weigh-in info out of the way first.

March 11, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 356.9
Today’s Weight: 355.1
Change from All-Time High: -47.7 pounds
Change from Last Week: -1.8 pounds

What can I say but woo hoo!

So why is this an I Think I Like Running Weigh-in? I think I like it.

I can’t believe it. I’m shocked. But Tina and I have taken to doing a weight session and then a 5K. We’re in the gym longer (and therefore more exercise, which always equals good), and I think it shows in my weight loss this week. I haven’t even had the most perfect calorie counting this week (more on #7daychip, which is helping, later), but I still lost. And I am attributing this one to the drastic increase in exercise going on this week.

I’m finding that I actually ENJOY the running.

Well, real quick, let me clarify one thing.

I’m not running. I’m jogging. And I’m jogging slow. I jog at 4.1 miles per hour. I know for someone with longer legs (I may be six feet tall, but my body is crazy long and my legs are little stumps with a 32 inseam) 4.1 mph would be a fast walk, but for me, it’s a slow jog. And I’m perfectly fine with that.

I haven’t even worked up to jogging a 5K without stopping yet. I’m going at my own speed. Today, I did 1:15 of jogging at 4.1 with 1:45 of walking at 3.2 for the entire 3.1 miles. I completed it in 51:23.

I have a HUGE plan about 5Ks coming up very soon. I’ll announce it early next week.

But for today, I am celebrating my 1.8 pound loss and the fact that I am enjoying running. Yay me.

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