Archive for January 2012

Date Night #1 – The Fur Ball

This is the first of an entry of date night posts!

Stellar Path, in addition to being a document of my rather slow weight loss journey, is also a personal blog for the happenings in my life. I don’t share as much of myself on here as I’d like to, truthfully

If you read my blog solely for weight loss/fitness stuff, well… some of that will still seep its way in. Our date nights usually revolve around some form of meal, and even though I don’t necessarily plan to be a buzz kill, I’ll still share my eats and give a rough estimate for the points.

Tina and I decided we needed to take more date nights. Far too often, we hang around on Saturday afternoon, make grand plans, and then end up crashing on the couch and watching Harry Potter on blu-ray.

Now don’t get me wrong; there is nothing I love more than spending down time with my lovely wife. However, we still feel a need to get out of the house more often, and we’re pledging to take a LOT more date nights this year.

A few weekends ago, we went to the 5th annual Warren County Humane Society Fur Ball. The Fur Ball holds a special place in our relationship, because it was our very second date.

I remember the day I met Tina very well. It was January 11th. The Fur Ball was January 19th. I already had two tickets to the Fur Ball, because ever the optimist, I had purchased two, hoping to find a date. Well… I was in the midst of a dry spell, and I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would be going solo.

While browsing Barnes and Noble on January 11, 2008, I met the woman who would someday become the love of my life. We struck up a conversation, I offered to buy her a coffee, we kept talking, I realized this was a pretty cool chick, and I asked if she’d like to go see Sweeney Todd.

Now you might be asking, really? Offering to take a girl you JUST met to see a horror musical?

Well, I like horror movies.

I also like musicals.

Casual dating or not, if this girl and I were going to have any chance of successfully dating, we were going to have to share some key interests.

She likes musicals and horror movies.

We went to see Sweeney Todd.

I fell hard. We exchanged numbers in the parking lot after the movie, I kissed her hand (because I’m a gentleman like that), and I asked her if she would be willing to come with me to a black tie optional gala in a week. She said yes.

We went to the first Fur Ball, and we continued dating. A year later, we went to the 2nd Annual Fur Ball. And the third, and the fourth.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Including the fact that we had some of our wedding pictures taken at Barnes and Noble over three years later, as that was where we met.

So, every year, we go to the Fur Ball. It is a very real dating tradition for us.

That aside, we are both HUGE animal lovers, and I love giving to any charity that benefits animals. We’ve got four rescued pets, and if not for finances and the fact that we don’t have room for more than four, we’d definitely have more.

Okay, on to Date Night, the 5th Annual Fur Ball! It was held at the Sloane Convention Center in Bowling Green, and it always features an amazing meal.

We started off with this incredibly tasty salad…

There was a buffet line, and I’m pretty pleased with my choices. I would have liked to get more roasted veggies, but the tray was extremely low when I got these, and I didn’t want to be rude and empty it.

We also had these amazing slices of chocolate cake. I ate it. It was good. No regrets, including writing a high estimation of 30 points in my food journal.

This is a nice photo of the crowd. This year’s turnout was their biggest yet.

There was also a band (I think called Familiar Faces?) and dancing.

And this is us with our friends Patti and Dana. If you were reading my blog back when Tina and I got married in October 2010, you may recognize them from our wedding party.

It was an amazing, wonderful date night.

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A Changing Things Up Weigh-In

The spring semester has started, and things have gotten busy! I have a much easier work schedule this term, and I still love my job, so all is good. Things are just a bit busy.

This morning, I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of my weigh-in. However, I DID weigh-in, and the results, in this Changing Things Up Weigh-In, are…

January 27, 2012
Weight: 373.2
Change from Last Week: -0.4 pounds
Change from All-Time Highest: -29.6 pounds

It is a loss, albeit a small one.

How is this loss different than the last year? Well, I’ve lost pretty consistently for several weeks now. Last year, I would get exasperated, have a mini-binge (or even just a hearty splurge), and completely eliminate any minor loss.

I’m not quitting. But I am going to change things up to attempt to speed up my weight loss. I’ve got three ideas for how I can do this, and I’m going to try each for three weeks before I go on to a different one. (And obviously, if Idea #1 works, then I will stop there.)

Idea #1 – I’m currently on Weight Watchers, which gives me 49 flex points a week, in addition to my daily points. (I know they aren’t really called flex, but they used to be flex, and old habits die hard.) I tend to eat about 7 extra points a day. As a result, my point intake is pretty much the same, every day.

I have recently read research that shows that variable calories over the course of a week can make a significant impact on weight loss. Rather than eat equal calories over the entire week, I’m going to eat all of my flex on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and eat JUST my daily points Monday thru Thursday.

Idea #2 – If this doesn’t work, then I’ll give up the weekly points altogether and ONLY eat my daily points.

Idea #3 – The old Weight Watchers plan (where I had 34 daily points and 35 weekly points) worked great for me the first time I lost weight. If Idea #1 doesn’t work, then I’m going back to the old Weight Watchers plan with the old point system.

I’ll be honest – I’m a little nervous about trying, but I owe it to myself. Yes, I am losing, but I am losing SO slowly, and a guy my size (370+ pounds) and my age (early 30s) should be able to lose much faster than this. A little experimentation shouldn’t hurt me. I’ll continue to weigh daily and monitor myself.

And ultimately, if I can only continue to lose a pound or less per day, then so what? I’m not going to stop. I figure I need to lose about 190 more pounds. At a pound a week, that can be done in four years. Do I want to be an obese 37 year old or a thin 37 year old? The answer is as simple as that.

Stick with me. I’m staying with it.

And now, two pieces of giveaway news. Last week, I gave away the Eat Smart Scales, and I announced the winner on this page. I heard nothing from the winner, emailed the winner and still heard nothing, so I redid the drawing. If you were the winner, I’m sorry – I made good efforts for a week and unfortunately heard nothing. As a result, the new winner of the EatSmart Scale is Molly Nitka!

And now, the next giveaway! Last Saturday, I held a drawing for MyBlogSpark and General Mills for five boxes of cereal. The entries ended last night at 10 p.m. CST, and I had nine eligible comments. Using random.org, the lucky winner was comment #4!

Congratulations Karin! Please email me your mailing address to jeremy@stellarpath.net.

Tomorrow is date night. See you Sunday!

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An Open Letter from my Muse to Myself #2 –

Dear Jeremy,

The pounds are slowly coming off. That’s awesome. Keep it up. But there’s something else I want to talk to you about today.

On these electronic pages, you’ve shared many, many times your desire to be a runner.

You’ve tried it, many times, but frankly, at your current weight, it hurts your joints. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.

I can already hear what you are thinking.

“I hate that my cardio endurance is strong enough that I can run, but my joints won’t let me.”

“I hate that I have the desire to run, but the last time I tried, I literally ended up at the doctor’s office, getting a prescription for severe inflammation in my feet.”

“And to be honest… I hate that I am jealous getting to read others’ blogs as they progress from weight loser to runner.”

I want you to stop living in the realm of “I want to but…”

Screw that. There are things that you CAN do now.

You can’t run. Big freaking deal.

You can walk. Your legs are strong. Your joints may not be able to take 370 pounds of running, but they can sure take walking.

I know how much time you spend at the Bowling Green Road Runners website, looking at their calendar of upcoming races and fantasizing about joining their ranks.

So stop fantasizing and do it. There are going to be a lot of 5Ks this year that are also open to walkers.

Sign up, give your money to a worthwhile cause, walk the 3.1 miles, collect your t-shirt, and every step, every ounce lost, will put you closer to joining the ranks of runners you so desperately want to join.

You can do this. You will do this. You owe it to yourself.

Regards,
Mason

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MyBlogSpark Giveaway: General Mills Cereal

Disclosure: The prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

As an active member of MyBlogSpark, I periodically get invited to various campaigns to try out healthy foods. In addition to trying out said foods in my home, I also get to host a giveaway and offer one reader the chance to also try those foods.

This time, MyBlogSpark and General Mills provided me with five boxes of cereal!

For a while now, General Mills has been promoting more whole grains in their cereal.

To be quite honest… I don’t eat a great deal of cereal, and when I do, I usually make it myself (recipe coming soon!). However, there have been many busy mornings where I haven’t had time to make myself breakfast or I’m out of my regular cereal, and it would be nice to have something to fall back on.

As a result, when I was given the chance to review (and giveaway) these five boxes of cereal, I was happy to give them a whirl!

I’ll start with the taste. They tasted exactly as I remembered them. No change at all, so that’s a plus.

As far as the ingredient list, I was simultaneously pleased, surprised, and disappointed.

I was pleased that Cheerios are surprisingly clean! I was surprised that Cinnamon Toast Crunch, while admittedly being high in sugar (although whole grains were still the #1 ingredient), did NOT have high fructose corn syrup. And I was disappointed (and surprised again) that Total does! Total cereal, the cereal I would have bet to be the cleanest in the box, had high fructose corn syrup as the third ingredient.

I still advocate a clean diet, but if you read my blog regularly, you may know that I follow a 90% clean/10% don’t-sweat-it diet. I place cereals like these in that 10%. I fully believe that the occasional indulgence is acceptable and appropriate in a healthy diet.

Want the chance to try these five cereal out for yourself? (Full boxes, too. Not the little scrawny single serving ones.)

Giveaway is only open to US residents. (Sorry everyone else!) Entries will be taken until 10 p.m. Central time, January 26th. Winner will be announced at next Friday’s weigh in.

This is going to be a nice and simple giveaway. One shot per person. To enter, just leave a comment here answering this question: “Which of these five General Mills cereals (Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Total, Honey Nut Cheerios) are you most excited to try?”

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A Drop at a Time Weigh-In

This is most definitely a drop at a time weigh-in. This weight is slowly but surely falling off, one drop at a time. I feel like I’m doing everything right, so as long as this weight keeps coming off, I shall not complain. One pound a week is still 52 pounds a year.

January 20, 2012
Weight: 373.6
Change from Last Week: -1.0 pounds
Change from Highest: -29.2 pounds

Yes, it’s slow, and I continue to try and figure out why my weight loss is so slow. I’m a big dude. I should be able to lose faster.

But at the same time, I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

In the past, I’ve hit 370 and stalled. I do not want to do that again. Let’s keep going ahead!

Short post today, but I do want to announce the winner of the EatSmart Scale! Using random.org, the lucky winner was Entry #4, Sabrina Smith!

Congratulations Sabrina! Come back tomorrow for another (non-scale) giveaway!

And to show a little Link Love… including to myself…

At my food blog, Stellar Eats, I just posted my second pizza of 52 weeks of pizza, a Turkey Taco Pizza!

Skinny Emmie, who I had the pleasure to meet last year at the local Fitbloggin’ meetup in Nashville, posted this week about starting to exercise when you are an “ultra beginner.” I think many of us who started working out as the morbidly obese (or even super morbidly obese) can certainly relate!

And Brooke at Brooke Not on a Diet describes how she is once again finding herself on Weight Watchers, a sentiment to which I, too, can relate.

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