Archive for May 2012

Geeked Out Weight Loss Series: Power Rangers – Switching Places

As I hope and plan to do every Thursday, I am bringing you another entry in my Geeked Out Weight Loss Review series! This is where I watch an episode of some shows from my childhood or other geeky past and give it a weight loss spin.

Today, and it’s only fitting as this is my first foray back into geekdom, I’m going with my old standby, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Today’s episode is from early season 1, Switching Places.

Plot

Billy has invented a device that will allow people to read each other’s thoughts. Unbeknownst to him, Squatt (one of Rita’s henchmen) rewired it. When he and Kimberly hook themselves up to it, Billy finds himself in Kimberly’s body and vice versa.

In all seriousness, I’m actually impressed with the acting of David Yost and Amy Jo Johnson in this episode. David plays a great Valley Girl, and Amy Jo was as good a Billy as David Yost.

And of course, the two will be unable to switch back until Billy can rebuild the generator to his machine.

In the midst of the body switching confusion, Rita sends a Genie to attack the Rangers. Can the Rangers defeat the evil genie, and will Billy and Kimberly have to stay in the wrong bodies?

Well, it’s a kid show, so of course they defeat the evil genie, and of course Kimberly and Billy get put back correctly.

Weight Loss Analogy

While watching this episode on Netflix, I kept trying to think of the weight loss angle. The plot was REALLY convoluted on this one. Trust me – I left out a ton of stuff about the genie’s lamp and how if Alpha didn’t destroy the lamp properly the Power Rangers would be destroyed, and my personal favorite, Jason’s line, “Billy, you’ve got to rewire those servos to bypass the damage and tap into the power morphing system. We gotta get us more power before we get totaled!”

It’s like freaking Shakespeare.

But then it hit me. Kimberly and Billy switched places, and I think they each ended up with more respect for the other.

We need to periodically switch places with our “goal” self. (I almost went with the angle of “switch up your workouts,” but I like this one better.)

Have a conversation with you at Goal Weight. Put yourself in Goal Weight You’s shoes. Let Goal You explain to Current You how much better you feel and how much healthier you are.

Don’t be stagnant in your viewpoint. For me, being stagnant is what led to me being morbidly obese. Same stuff, different day, and I had an excuse to go for every single day.

“I’m going to eat what I want today, because tomorrow, I’m hitting the diet hard!”

“I’ll take today off, and I’ll work out twice tomorrow.”

I’m going to put myself in Goal Me’s place for a bit, and just see what the world looks like from his side. I’m hoping it’ll motivate me to keep doing things the right way.

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Post San-Diego Weigh-In

Today isn’t a real weigh-in. I’m just going to report how I did after San Diego.

Pre-San Diego: 360.4
Immediately After Arriving Home, Post-Flight: 372.8 (AAAH!)
Two Days Later: 359.6

What am I taking from this? I retained a LOT of fluid, especially in that last day of air travel, and after two days back home and eating well, my weight dropped. So I’d say I may have slightly lost weight in San Diego, or at worst, I maintained. I’m counting this one as a victory.

As I mentioned on Sunday, I am going to Weight Watchers with my mother starting on Saturday. Those Saturday weigh-ins will be reported on Wednesday, so next Wednesday, I’m going to call it Week One. Just a straight forward numbers game with a vlog.

I am still debating as to whether or not I am going to follow Weight Watchers. I had a little lesson today that showed me I MUST stick to strict paleo for my joints to be happy. Tina went out to eat with her mom, and she brought me a quarter of a club sandwich on potato bread. Well, even potato bread has wheat in it, but I justified myself in eating it.

Two hours later, I am noticeably hobbling around the house. I couldn’t believe how quickly it affected me, but again, Dr. Google showed me that for some people, eating grains causes an almost immediate reaction (some within minutes).

Wheat is an out. Paleo is the way for me to eat now. I hope I can someday eat bread again, but the foreseeable future, it is not a good option for me. No grains. No dairy. No legumes. That’s just the way it is for me and my body at the moment. Maybe even forever. Oh, and the corn I had on Monday night (that I blogged about on Tuesday)? I was hobbling bad Tuesday morning. No corn, either.

Fortunately, there are some amazing paleo recipes out there. I’ve even found some for “bread” that are actually clean recipes.

So, my point? I swear I had one.

I probably am only going to do Weight Watchers for the meetings and public weigh-ins. I’m not going to do eTools. I’m just going to eat my paleo foods and count my calories.

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Stellar Recipe: Grilled Corn

Once I discovered this method for making corn on the cob, I don’t like to make it any other way. I cooked these on my grill, but they can be cooked just as easily in the oven.

You’ll need ears of corn, butter, smoked paprika, and salt. Regular paprika won’t give it the same flavor; get smoked if you can.

Peel the husks back from the corn, but don’t pull them off. Remove the silks from the corn.

Take about a teaspoon of butter. Okay, this is the most awkward step. Take the butter and smear it all over the exposed kernels. It isn’t difficult, but I would recommend you do this step alone, or at the very least, without Tina in the kitchen, or you’ll hear comments like these: “Did you take that corn out before you started doing that to it?” “Are you trying to relax the corn before you grill it?” And my personal favorite, “I’ve never seen corn get a happy ending before.” *sigh*

After you have buttered the corn, sprinkle liberally with salt and smoked paprika.

Now, fold the husks back over the corn. It doesn’t have to cover it perfectly. (Note: if you are cooking indoors in the oven, I’d go ahead and pull the husks off and just wrap it in aluminum foil, or you’ll get a smoke-filled kitchen.)

Place on the grill. My grill has a rack that sits above the actual grill, and I find that works better. Come back in twenty minutes.

That’s it. Pull the husks off (be careful, it’ll be hot) and serve! We ate ours with steak and baked potatoes from the local farmer’s market. Absolutely amazing! Happy eating!

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Motivational Monday: Reach for Your Goals

Yeah, I know text on images is overdone, but dang it, I still like them.

I like this quote especially.

I really feel like my goals need to be just a bit of a stretch. After all, if it isn’t challenging, then why do it? As my taekwondo instructor used to say, “If it were easy, everyone would be a black belt.”

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Life Stuff

I have not been around for a few days. This may be a fairly length blog post, so if you want to know what has happened and what will be happening to me, please read ahead to find out.

First of all, the good things. Tina and I recently returned from our babymoon in San Diego. It was a great last trip before we have the baby. Baby Logsdon is still doing great (although our last ultrasound revealed he was going to be a very LONG baby – I’m not surprised; his mother and I are both six feet tall).

Other good things – my entire family is still with me, even though if things had been just a little different the other day, I couldn’t say that now.

I’ll explain that one, first.

My mother is a Type 2 Diabetic. She was diagnosed when I was in middle school. I’ve watched her struggle with it my entire life.

I got a call from my father at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, a Saturday. We were all going to meet up later that morning to go to my nephew Clint’s graduation. He was calling to say they would not be able to make it, and he further explained why.

My mother almost died in bed early Saturday morning. Her sugar crashed in the middle of the night, and she was unable to wake herself up to consume orange juice or something else with sugar. Dad only knew it was going on because he heard her trying to scream to get his attention.

He tried to get her to drink orange juice, but at that point, her sugar was far too low. He called 911, and the paramedics were able to get her stable. She didn’t have to go to the hospital, and now, she is fine.

Her sugar has certainly crashed before, but it has never crashed that drastically or caused her to have that dramatic a reaction.

This is the part that scares me. If my father had not been there, my mother would be dead right now.

Just a few weeks ago, my dad left the house at 2 a.m. for a week straight because a nonprofit agency he is the head of was doing security at the Kentucky Derby. If this had happened then, when my mother was alone, she would have had no one to call 911 for her, and she probably would have laid in bed and died, alone. The nonprofit agency is a Rescue Squad, and that means they frequently go out on calls in the middle of the night to search for people who have been reported missing. If he had been out on a call, she would have died.

I may be 34 years old, but I’m not ready to give up my mom yet. She’s only 67. She should still have many years of life left in her.

I called her Saturday afternoon, and we talked for a while. She knows she has to get her health under control. She did Weight Watchers with me in the past, and she was successful at it. But as circumstances change, she stopped going.

She wants to be around for the birth of my son. I want her around to watch my son graduate college.

She and I are going to start going to Weight Watchers again. There is a meeting in my city every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., so she is going to drive up and we’ll attend together. With the structure of the meetings and the weekly support and weigh-ins, I feel very confident that she’ll overcome this obstacle. I hope, sometime shortly down the road, I can write a blog post about how her type 2 diabetes is completely overcome.

Just as importantly, I know that the group support of Weight Watchers will be useful for me, too.

Something else has been going on, too. Let me explain this one by explaining my thoughts on dieting. (It’s relevant, I promise.)

I am a huge fan of moderation. That’s why I can’t ever subscribe to ONE diet plan, because I want to eat… well, everything. I can’t commit to being vegan forever because I like meat and cheese. I can’t commit to being paleo forever because I like cheese and bread. I can’t commit to Atkins forever because I like fruits, veggies, and bread.

But, that said, there is one food that I will never, ever, ever, as long as I live, consume again.

Artificial sweeteners.

They are literally poison, and I am suffering from the effects right now.

Before I explain, let me give a little back history.

When I was in my mid-teens, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It primarily affected my upper body, mostly my hands, and it was painful, crippling, and embarrassing. I remember my fingers swelling up so large they wouldn’t bend. I went to a doctor, was put on some anti-inflammatory meds, and by the time I was 15, it was over and in remission.

In my late twenties, I began having pain and swelling in my right knee. I truthfully ascribed it to my obesity, and kept saying, “Well, when I get to goal weight next year, it won’t hurt anymore.”

I’m now 34, and I’m still not at goal weight. My knee still hurts. It typically painfully swells about two to three days out of every ten. The other days, I’m fine. My chiropractor even told me she suspected it wasn’t because of my weight, as if it was, both knees should have been affected. Regardless, she agreed losing weight would help it.

About three and a half weeks ago, I went through a two-day binge of Diet Dr. Pepper. I drank maybe twenty ounces of water over those two days. My food was fine and spot-on. My diet soda consumption was three two-liters over those two days. Not good. It was, in my mind, an acceptable, calorie-free binge.

On day three, I woke up with the most painful swollen knee I have ever experienced. I took four ibuprofen and the hottest shower I could stand to even be able to move around somewhat easily.

My wife has been trying to get me to give up artificial sweeteners for years. I made a very clear association – my sweetener binge led to a swollen knee. I was done.

I threw away my Crystal Light and poured my last 2-liter down the sink. If I want soda, I’ll have the regular kind and count the calories.

Well, an interesting thing happened.

My body lost it’s freaking mind.

My right knee, which is the only joint I’ve been having troubles in for YEARS, decided it wanted company. Left knee. Both ankles. Alternating elbows. At one point, my left elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t straighten my arm out more than about 120 degrees. Two days later, my left elbow was fine and my right elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t touch my right ear.

Oh, and the newest pain to join my old-guy-aches? Fiery hot nerve flare-ups on the back of my left hand.

I was beginning to believe I had developed rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus. Or all three. I couldn’t exercise. I could barely walk, and this was with me taking MULTIPLE ibuprofen a day. You know how the bottle says you shouldn’t take more than six a day? Some days, I took sixteen.

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, fearing the results but knowing I had to do something. But then, on a lark, I visited Dr. Google, and I got the best news I had ever heard.

I wasn’t alone. I probably didn’t have RA or lupus.

I was experiencing the common after effects of going cold turkey on artificial sweeteners.

Except for headaches (which I never get), the symptoms were like a checklist of what was wrong with me. Other people had gone cold turkey and their bodies suddenly hated them. I kept my doctor’s appointment, but I felt a great relief.

But then I got some bad news. Most of these people said it took two to three months to get back to their normal, pain-free lives.

Crap.

So at over two weeks out, I was still hobbling. I was still in extreme pain.

It sucked. My wife and I went to San Diego, and I was in extreme pain for the entire trip.

I did a little research on diets that would help with inflammation.

Time and time again, I kept coming back to various forms of paleo. Give up the grains and the inflammation will disappear.

Paleo, as many of you know, is giving up grains, dairy, and legumes (beans and peanuts).

Last Monday, I decided I would start a paleo-ish diet. I can’t say that I am paleo, because I’m not being too strict on dairy. I don’t really drink cow’s milk anyway, so I have cut that out, but if I want cheese once a week or so, I’ll have it, provided it is a hard cheese. Basically, my “paleo” is giving up grains, legumes, and most dairy. I know some paleo people would call me a heretic, so if people ask, I mostly say I’ve just given up grains.

Giving up legumes is not a big deal. I hate beans and literally eat them only for the health benefits. It’ll be no trouble cutting them out. I do like peanuts (a legume), but I’m going to give them up, too, just because saying sayonara to peanuts or peanut butter won’t be that difficult.

As I said, last Monday, I started giving up all grains, all legumes, and most dairy. By Wednesday, I was taking only two ibuprofen a day. My results were anecdotal only, but I felt SO much better. My daily weigh-ins showed that weight was coming off fairly steadily, too. My suspicion for this? Without eating starches, it is fairly difficult to eat high calorie. I was eating proteins and fats (along with LOTS of veggies and some fruits), and I had no trouble getting satisfied and keeping my caloric intake low. It was clear that I was walking better. I still had soreness, but I felt tons better.

You’d think it would be easy to just keep giving up grains, wouldn’t it? Well, I gave up grains for five days, and I fell off the wagon on Friday. I ate a slice of pizza and had two breadsticks.

By Saturday morning, I was a crippled old man again. It hurt to lay in bed. It hurt to sit on the couch. It hurt to hobble around the house.

Dare I say it? Grains are the devil.

This can’t be a coincidence. Tina asked me if I thought it might be psychosomatic.

If it is, sign me up for crazy pills because I’ll take relief in whatever healthy form I can get it.

I plan to keep eating grain-free. I know that I will eventually have bread again. I’m hoping that someday, I’ll be light enough with healthy joints so I can occasionally have a slice of bread or pizza without being crippled. But for now, at my weight, that is not an option, so if my options are pain-free days or eating bread, I’ll take the pain-free days.

Upcoming Plans

I need to blog more often. It keeps me sane, and it provides an outlet. I know this blog isn’t widely read, but it’s useful for me. (And to those of you who comment or read without commenting, I thank you for being there for me, even if we’ve never actually spoken.)

I’ve come up with a schedule for blogging. I want to blog daily, at least until such point that it becomes a chore. I have a proposed schedule I’m going to try.

Monday – Motivational Monday
Tuesday – Healthy Recipe
Wednesday – Wednesday Weigh-In
Thursday – Geeked Out Weight Loss Review
Friday – Open Letters (a.k.a. Stellar Path Stalks Celebrities)
Saturday – Photog Friday (a photo recap of the previous day)
Sunday – Horror Movie Weight Loss Review

As other things occur that I want to blog about, I am, of course, at liberty to abandon this schedule as I see fit.

Starting this upcoming Saturday, my mother and I will begin attending Weight Watchers. I will continue eating grain-free, and I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to post my Weight Watchers weigh-ins (late on Wednesday, obviously) or if I’ll just continue weighing in at home.

In Conclusion

I realize this was a long, slightly random post about a lot of different things, but I had a lot to get out at once. Thanks for reading.

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