Archive for June 2012

A No Starches at Dinner Weigh-In

Another week, another successful weigh-in!

June 23, 2012
Weight: 354.2
Change from Last Week: -1.8 pounds
Change from Highest: -48.6 pounds

Next week, I hope to crush the 50 pounds target. Granted, that’s from my highest weight, but still… it’s crazy to think how tired I would be if I walked around with a fifty pound weight on my back all the time.

I want to see if there are some simple things I can do to accelerate fat loss. I’ve heard some people say that if you cut out starchy carbs after mid-afternoon, that can speed it up. I want to do this one for two reasons.

One, I need to eat WAY more vegetables. I just don’t like vegetables, but I’m about to be a dad and I have to be a good role model, so… more veggies it is. Last night for dinner, we had tenderloin, creamed spinach, and tomatoes. It tasted good and it had to have been good for my body.

And two, my joints are starting to ache a little bit again, and I’m wondering if I’m going too whole-hog on the grains front. I’m going to limit them again and see if it helps. I’m still having nerve pain flare ups which I am blaming on the aspartame withdrawal symptoms, and that leads me to believe that it may be affecting my joints, too. Regardless, eating more vegetables will be good for me, no matter what the end result is.

Oh, and perhaps most importantly – this is something I am going to do “in general.” I’m not going to give myself any hard and fast rules. I’ll still enjoy the occasional slice (or two) of pizza and we’ll still have spaghetti on occasion. I’m just saying that I’m going to limit my dinner-time starches, not remove them completely.

Let’s see how it goes.

And as I’ve mentioned, my mother is doing Weight Watchers with me. I’m very proud of her, because she is crushing me! We’re not competing, and it’s a good thing, because if we were, I’d have already been left in the dust. She’s lost over ten pounds in the last three weeks!

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General Blogging Stuff

This post is going to be just a bit of randomness, so bear with me, please?

There are a LOT of different ways to eat, and many people claim their way is the absolute best way. I disagree. Always. There is no best way. You should do the way that works best for you. For instance, I have known people who have had amazing success with calorie counting. They should do that.

I’ve known others who have had amazing success with paleo.

I don’t have permission to post any pics, but google Paleo success stories, and you’ll find tons.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with vegan diets.

Google Steve Cardenas. Find a current picture of him. He’s the former Red Ranger on Power Rangers. He’s vegan and I’d happily have his physique.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with Atkins.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with gastric bypass.

I have personal different opinions about pretty much every diet I’ve ever heard of. Some are diets/strategies that I would never, ever, ever do. Others are diets that I’ve dabbled in. I am a firm believer that everyone should do what works for them. Period.

Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers. It works for me. I am well aware that Weight Watchers is nothing more than glorified calorie counting. I have had people ask me why I pay $40 a month to go weigh in.

Well, I don’t just go weigh in. I stay for the meetings. I’m actually attending with my mother. And yes, Weight Watchers is very cheesy at times, but it helps me. It’s a form of therapy for me.

I need a therapist. I’m well aware of that. I still have serious eating issues, and the structure of Weight Watchers is one thing that is helping me overcome that. I once attempted to find a good disordered eating therapist, and while I didn’t find one, I did find a therapist who gave me a great piece of advice.

Journal. Often. Frequently. And honestly.

And that’s what I’ve turned this blog into. Yes, Stellar Path is VERY random, and it’s frankly suited for my tastes. It’s about food, exercise, Power Rangers, horror movies, and other geeky things that appeal to me.

I started blogging daily in June. I knew, when I started blogging weekly about the Power Rangers and horror movies and other such things, that I would be creating an unusual niche blog that pretty much had the audience of, well… me. I expected my traffic to drop, and I was okay with that. I never started blogging to become famous. I started blogging because I enjoy writing.

Three things occurred – my writing muse has shown up in full force, both on the blog, professionally, and personally/creatively. This was an amazingly unexpected occurrence.

Two, my traffic has increased. Significantly. It may just be the result of more posts equal more to read, but for whatever reason, my traffic has gone up. So unexpected woo hoo there. Granted, I don’t get a ton of comments, but I definitely enjoy the ones I do get.

And third, it’s helping my weight loss and views on food and eating. Stellar Path has become my journal, helping me deal with my own weight loss, body, and disordered eating issues.

If in my journaling/blogging, I am able to help others, awesome. And if not, hey, maybe I’ll entertain someone.

Best yet, I’ve made some great friends on this blog. There are people that I have never met in person who I put in the friend category.

So, today’s post was a bit of stream of consciousness, but I wanted to just put this out there and say thank you for reading and commenting.

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Thriller Movie Review: Identity

For the next few weeks here, on my Sunday horror/thriller movie weight loss review series, I plan to alternate A Nightmare on Elm Street film with a non-ANOES film. Last week, I did the original Nightmare. Today, I’m reviewing a very underrated thriller, Identity.

Identity has a great ending, and I am going to purposefully avoid spoiling the ending for you. If you like thrillers, you will enjoy this, I promise.

Plot

Identity is a film split up into two different settings that take place simultaneously. In one setting, we have a late night hearing where a psychiatrist, Dr. Mallick, is presenting new evidence to save serial killer Malcolm Rivers from execution. Although his prisoner has not yet arrived, the hearing begins, with Dr. Mallick presenting new evidence that shows why Malcolm committed the murders.

In the other setting, we have eleven strangers who are trapped at a remote desert motel during a raging storm.

Two of those strangers are a cop and the prisoner he is transporting. The others include a newlywed couple (who don’t really seem to like each other that much), a family with a young boy (with the mother at death’s door due to being struck by a car), an 80s TV actress and her limo driver, the motel owner, and an ex-prostitute who is heading to Florida to start a new life.

The group realizes they are going to have to spend the night at this motel. This is especially unsettling for Caroline, an 80s TV actress who is trying desperately to reclaim her lost fame and finds herself too good to stay in such a dingy motel. She bribes the desk clerk for the nicest room, although in this motel that’s meaningless, but before everyone can settle down for the night, she is the first to be killed. Obviously, the prisoner is blamed, but he can’t be questioned, because he has escaped.

But then, the first twist of the evening occurs. The prisoner is found brutally murdered as well. The bodies keep piling up, leading to a shocking twist for everyone involved, including the murderer.

Weight Loss Takeaway

There is an analogy that I could make by spoiling the ending, but I’m not going to do that. This movie is too incredible not to enjoy in its entirety, ending intact, if you haven’t already seen it.

Instead, I’m going to focus on our first murder victim, Caroline.

She lived in the past. She had success in the 80s as a TV actress, but the last two decades have not been kind to her. She’s washed up, a has-been, and she wants nothing more than to become a star again.

Unfortunately, rather than acting like she has class, she is an adult brat. She bosses people around. She makes it very clear that she sees herself as better than the others in this same situation.

I’ve gotten stuck in the past sometimes, too. I occasionally focus on what could have been, not what is.

I got down to 250 in 2007. If I had kept with it, I could easily be four years at goal by now. Instead, I’m back up over 350.

But unlike Caroline, I don’t plan to live there. I look back more than I should, but I’m keeping my eyes forward. A bright, healthier future awaits me. Heck, a healthier present is here right now, at least mentally.

And I’m definitely watching out for the killer.

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Window Seat: San Diego Babymoon, Day Two, 05.13.12

This post (along with all of the other San Diego posts that will follow) were actually written while in San Diego. I hope you enjoy this recap of our babymoon! Be warned – this is pretty photo heavy!

***

We got up REALLY early. Tina woke up at 5 a.m. I was up by a little after six. We are still apparently on Central time. We showered and headed down to the buffet by seven.

It was very good, and given that it was free, it was even better. It would have cost $22.95 each, and it would NOT have been worth that, but free… awesome. It had the standard breakfast buffet fare (photos coming on a future day’s post), but my favorite part… the fruit! I ate one plate of nothing but fruit. So freaking good.

And one photo of the view from our table…

We had nothing really planned for the day, so we decided today would be a good day to go to Joshua Tree National Park. It was a three hour drive away, but that was fun, too, because we saw some amazing landscapes that we just don’t have in Kentucky.

Tina and I were both especially impressed with all of the wind turbines. It reminded me a little of the truly awful movie M.A.C. and Me.

After driving for three hours, we stopped at a Carl’s, Jr. for a quick bite before we set off to go hiking. Most surprising to us was that it was in the high 60s in San Diego, but by the time we got to the high desert, it was around 100 degrees. Amazingly huge difference. (And we packed all wrong, thinking we’d be in hot weather all the time and not just far inland.)

We stopped at the Visitor Center, talked to a Ranger, and then headed into the actual park. It is largely a driving experience, but we got to stop several times to take photos and do a bit of exploring.

It was so beautiful; it was almost like being on an alien planet, because it just looked so different!

A nice shot of Tina and Moon Pie…

First tumbleweed we’d ever seen! (Other than the restaurant.)

I have no idea what I’m doing here.

Our rental car is the gray one beside the red car. This is a small parking area at the highest point in Joshua Tree.

And I get to cross an item off of my Bucket list, because we hiked in Joshua Tree National Park! (I want to visit all of the US’s National Parks.)

After leaving the park, we stopped at a small gift shop and bought our Joshua Tree Christmas Ornament. One of our travel traditions is to buy Christmas ornaments of the different places we visit.

They also had this very cool piano out back. We tried to play it. As you might expecting, a piano, outdoors in the elements, doesn’t sound so good. Looked cool, though.

And then, it was time for the LONG drive back to San Diego. We stopped a few times to stretch our legs and so forth, but eventually, we made it back.

On the way back, we stopped at Fillipa’s Pizza Grotto and ordered an all-white pizza (garlic, olive oil, mozzarella, and provolone) to eat in the hotel. Even though it was a bit cooled, it was DELICIOUS!

We’re currently in the hotel, full up on pizza and watching Bob’s Burgers. It’s 8:30 here (10:30 back home), but we’re wiped. It’s funny how driving in the car for what felt likes years can tire you out. But we’re back in the hotel, going to sleep soon, and tomorrow will be a fun, new day of our babymoon!

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My Experience with 30 Days of Paleo

Paleo is not for me, but not in the way you might think. I recently tried it for 30 days, and now I know.

I feel I should disclaim – people should eat in the way that works for them.

My joints after going cold turkey on aspartame are better. They are not perfect yet, and frankly, they may never be perfect.

I did not notice a sudden, dramatic increase in joint flexilibity or lack of pain after starting paleo, as many others had indicated, but I stuck with it.

I found that I frequently had an upset stomach. It wasn’t terribly upset, just to the point that it generally ached a bit. I attributed this to my change in diet and figured it would get better. For what it’s worth, it did. After about two weeks, the swollen stomach sensation left.

On day 31(ish), I had pizza. It was a whole wheat crust with cheese. I ate it, enjoying every savory bite and expecting to wake up the next morning in agonizing pain.

I did not. I felt awesome.

So I carefully added a few other non-paleo foods back in. I was careful, expecting my joints to suddenly feel worse or my digestion to take a turn for the south.

It didn’t happen. My joints remained as they had been for the past three weeks.

One of the greatest “benefits” of the paleo diet I was hoping for was the ability to stop obsessing over my diet. As a former and recovering binge eater, this did not happen, and truthfully, I should have expected as much. My issue with food is mental, not physical, and even if I am giving my body nothing but clean, healthy food, I mentally want more. That’s an issue I’ve lived with a long time, and it looks like I am going to have to continue living with it.

I am no longer paleo. The following are my takeaways from my paleo experiment.

I am glad I tried it, because it did help in cleaning up my diet. Even as I am reincorporating some non-paleo foods into my diet, I am finding that eating junk (i.e. white flour, overly processed foods) DOES make me feel bad, and I believe the strictness of paleo helped me get over that.

I am eating cheese, dairy, and whole grains, but in moderation. It doesn’t make me feel bad, so I see no reason to give them up. I’ve read accounts of others saying that after a few weeks of paleo, grains or dairy caused an immediate and noticeable reaction. I did not have that in any way, shape, or form.

My digestion frankly feels better with some grains in it. I’m talking whole grain bread, brown rice, and oatmeal.

I missed cheese. A lot.

I am a firm believer that there is no one diet that works for everyone, despite the fact that I hear these very claims in both the paleo and vegan groups especially. I don’t believe that. I have no problem digesting lactose, and apparently, I have no problem with grains.

I’m a big fan of the 90/10 rule. This means eat 90% healthy and 10% a little less. Heck, I think some paleo people even follow this. That 10% keeps me from obsessing. I’ll be honest – during my 30 days of strict paleo, I had some very mentally obsessive thoughts about food, and I don’t like it when I do that. I wish Bowling Green had a good eating disorder therapist, frankly, but we don’t.

Right now, this is my diet.

Eat healthy with the occasional indulgence. Count calories (well, points, actually, in my case, but it’s the same difference). Move your body. Watch the weight slowly drop off.

And it seems to be working for me.

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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)