Exercise

October 2014 Weigh-In

I have, for so long, wanted to be a blogger, and frankly…  I just find myself falling farther and farther away from that world.

I’m not closing this blog, but I think I am formally announcing today what it has unofficially been for years now.  This is basically my tiny little corner of the internet and it’s not much more than a slightly-public personal journal.

I still welcome comments, but I’m not going to say that I’ll blog more than once a month or make any bold proclamations that I’m about to revitalize and start blogging regularly!  We’ll see what happens.  I’ll try to update my weight at least once a month.

In September, I weighed in at 399.8.  On October 1st, I got on the scale and it said:

392.4!

That’s a loss of 7.2 pounds in a month.  Not great, but I don’t consider that terrible by any means.  I am down 32.8 pounds from my heaviest.  Woo hoo!

My weight loss is slow, but at least I am actually losing, for the first time in what feels like forever.

My doctoral work is keeping me so much busier than I ever would have expected.

I am anticipating graduating in December 2016.  While that sounds like forever away, I know (in doc school terms), it’s right around the corner.  I’m lucky in that my 2nd Master’s degree is letting me count 12 hours toward my program requirements.  (And let me also say – thank goodness for free tuition.  While the doc program fees aren’t covered by my tuition waiver, the tuition itself is.  I can’t complain about getting this degree for roughly $35,000 cheaper than most.)

I’m not exercising as much as I’d like, but thank God for my lovely wife Tina who has become quite the expert paleo chef!  Before this semester (Research I, y’all… it’s no joke), I was the family chef, but she has happily taken that task over for me and is doing an amazing job of it.

While we are not 100% primal or paleo, I do have to admit – it’s not as hard as I thought it would be once I got into it.

I hate when I read on paleo websites people say things like, “And I haven’t craved bread or sugar since!”

No, I still want sugar, but the difference for me now is… the cravings are bearable and beatable.  I can overcome them, much more easily than I used to.

I also have no delusions that this is anything other than a calorie trick.  I’m sure we’re feeling much more satisfied eating protein and fats than we were more carbs, but either way, we’re dropping.  (And we’re also eating WAY more veggies than ever  before, so that has to be good for us.  I still hate Brussels sprouts, though.  I’m pretty sure they’re poison.)  And incidentally, Tina is also losing weight as well.

It’s funny; we’re feeding our son pretty much the same thing we eat, although he’s pretty small, and we’re trying to get him to gain weight.  (He’s 85% percentile for height but only 20% percentile for weight.  How I had a skinny kid… I’ll never know.)  The doctor isn’t concerned with his weight, though, because he is healthy and well proportioned.  It’s funny, though, and it kind of shocks me at how ridiculously obvious this is.

He eats whatever we eat.  A few nights ago, we had roasted broccoli with dinner.  He was chowing down like it was candy, and I strongly suspect it was because he saw his mom and dad eating it.

I have to eat well and lose weight to keep my kid healthy, if for no other reason.

I need to force in more time for exercise.  But I’m also trying to keep some fun time in, too.  Last night, after class (the class I’m in meets once Saturday a month from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), we had a big bonfire in the backyard.

bonfire

No roasted marshmallows to go with it; we just enjoyed each other’s company by the fire in the backyard.

While I’m not a big fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I do love the fall.

‘Til my next post, whenever that may be (early November at the latest)…

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Cold in Kentucky

It is bitterly cold today. We have just a touch more than a dusting of snow on the ground, but many schools and business are closed because of the cold. The high today was four degrees. I know for some of you in some places, you are probably thinking, “Aw, that’s adorable.”

But here… our average winter temp is in the 30s. Four degrees is a type of cold we are just not equipped to deal with here. My wife was fortunate enough to be able to work from home today, and since I teach and I’m not teaching during the month of January, I was able to stay home, too. Our house was (and still is) nice and toasty. We only ventured outside to go to the gym.

That’s right! I’m back in the gym!

We have a gym less than two miles from our house. We have to go separately because of little guy (this gym doesn’t have day care) but it still works fantastically for us.

I am, however, sad to say that I have lost pretty much all of my cardio endurance. I used to do an hour on the elliptical at a high setting. Today, I forced myself to do 33 minutes on whatever level it came pre-set on (read: level one).

No tears, though. I’ll just progressively up it. Before long, I’ll be doing my full hour again.

I’m also working in some free weights. I want my cardio endurance higher, however, before I jump fully back into the weight room again. I know the logic in just working out with weights, and I don’t even disagree with it from a purely physical standpoint. This, however, is mental. I need to feel my lungs and heart strong again.

I measured myself over the weekend. I’m only going to measure myself once, maybe twice, a month. I’ll weigh-in every Friday, but the measurements will be less often. That said, here they are in their ugly glory to serve as my baseline.

Waist

55.25

Chest

58.75

Stomach

66.5

R. Bicep

19

L. Bicep

17.5

R. Forearm

13.75

L. Forearm

13

R. Thigh

34.5

L. Thigh

35

Hips

62

R. Calf

20.75

L. Calf

20

My body used to be much more symmetrical. My right and left body parts were pretty similar in size. This was back when I actually used to lift weights. Now, I’m clearly favoring my right for almost everything. But again, this is okay. It’ll get back to where it should be.

I realized today that I can use one of my predilections for projects to my benefit. The first is mental and the second is an actual physical thing.

Mentally, I like working on things. I like seeing something start and taking it through to its conclusion, whether it’s writing a short story, painting a space painting, or even something as simple as cleaning the kitchen. I like that satisfaction of, “Ah, I did it and I’m done.”

I’m going to use this same mental attitude toward my body. I’ve made no secret of my desire to look like… well, this:

jasonstatham

(Jason Statham and I have the same hair. I do have slightly fewer prison tattoos.)

And truthfully, what is weight loss except for a project? Yeah, I know, it’s a long-term thing, too. But this is what I get to work on right now. I get to carve away the fat from my body. I am so tremendously lucky to be in a position to get to do that.

When I get to goal weight, I’ll get to select a new goal, which will likely be increasing muscle mass. It will always be something, and that sounds tremendously exciting to me.

The actual thing I can do is as follows.

I’m actually kinda crafty. I like to paint. I like to work with my hands. And thanks to my wife… I like to quilt.

I don’t like to sew, I like to quilt.  And I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are a lot of guys out there who like to quilt.  Not like… so many you’ve probably ever met one before, but enough that there is an internet presence.

Anyway, I’m going to use quilting to keep track of my weight loss.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I wanted to do a quilt out of the dork shirts that I currently wear to the gym to work out in.  I had planned for my wife to do it, but she taught me a few things over Christmas break, and I have to say… quilting is kinda awesome.  So I’m going to do it myself.  The front of my quilt will be my dork shirts, as planned.

The back of my quilt is going to be this design:

quilt1

Each of the colored squares will represent a week.  So, for each week that I have a good week, however I choose to measure it, I’ll give myself a colored square.  I can measure it by weight loss, loss of inches, or even a case of “I know I did everything right.”  However, if I don’t have a good week (too much overeating, no gym, just didn’t try), then I get a plain white square.  I will hopefully have a nice fun quilt with lots of colors at the end.

This quilt allows for 120 blocks.  Since each block is a week, that puts me at 120 weeks, which has me finishing the quilt around my 38th birthday (late April 2016).  I do have a lot of weight to lose, and truthfully, I do believe I can do it in 120 weeks IF I put my mind and effort to it.

So that’s my plan.  Expect me to talk about quilting a bit now.  It’s just strangely cathartic and pleasant, for some reason.

I’m feeling the need to be more manly now to make up for it, too, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wrestle a grizzly bear in the backyard.  Or go play with my kid in the living room.  Whichever will give me more of a calorie burn.

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Taekwondo & Mosquito Bites

Food

Breakfast – sweet potato, 1 sausage patty, 1 slice of bacon, 1 egg, 1 egg white, cherries

Lunch – 2 asiago spinach chicken brats, kettle chips, tomato, cucumber

Dinner – taco pork meat (cooked with tons of onions and mushrooms) with cheese, sour cream, & tomatoes, in 2 wheat pita pockets

Snack – 3 Nature’s Harvest peanut butter creme cookies, glass of raw milk

I try to eat in a way that will keep the scale moving downward WITHOUT boring myself to death.  Some will say, “Forget entertainment.  Food should only be fuel!”

Not for me.  Food is fuel, enjoyment, a social activity, a way to lose weight, and a lot more.  I don’t think this empowers food; I think I am empowering myself by saying, “Food can be all of these things.”

I try to keep in mind why I am losing weight.  There are a lot of reasons.  But one reason is to do things that I cannot do right now.

The thing I am most looking forward to is resuming taekwondo (currently stagnated at a Senior 1st Degree Black – and I’ve forgotten a lot, so I have a great deal to relearn).  I have promised myself that I would return when my weight gets down to 250.  This will be me before you know it.

tkd

(The one doing the kicking.  I can get kicked in the face right now.)

We did cardio tonight.  We made the mistake of not working out first thing home, and by the time we got around to working out, we just did not have the oomph in us to do Body Revolution tonight.  No worries; we’ll start the first two full weeks, and if we can do the entire workout as is (no breaks, no modified moves), we’ll move on to the next phase.  Right now, the plank is what is giving me the most trouble.  I have a weak core.  That definitely needs to be fixed (and will help me immensely when I get back into martial arts.)

And on an unrelated note, can I saw how much I HATE summer?  I hate the heat, but the thing I hate the most of all… mosquitoes.  Our winters here have been so mild for so many years in a row now, mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas are horrendous.  I cannot even go outside to the mailbox without getting at least three new mosquito bites.  So tired of summer; I look forward to a nice cool fall and a hopefully blizzard-y winter.

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Sharknado, Bad Food Choices, & Sharknado

Food

Breakfast – sweet potato, 1 sausage patty, 1 slice of bacon, 1 egg

Lunch – cheeseburger on whole wheat bun, cucumber, tomato, cherries

Dinner – 8” Chicago Steak Grinder from Mancino’s

Man, it would have been SO tempting to skip mentioning today’s bad food choices.  Breakfast and lunch were great; between errands, work stuff, and other miscellany, we were late getting home, and all it took was a tiny suggestion of “Let’s eat out so we don’t have to clean the kitchen tonight” and we were going to Mancino’s, a grinder/pizza/pasta place here in our hometown.

However, as tempting as it would have been to lie or skip today’s post, that defeats the whole purpose of personal journal/blogging for accountability, and if I lie once, I may as well give it up.

I know I could have made worse food choices; still, given how my body is feeling right now, I feel pretty safe in saying that Mancino’s is not quite a whole-food place after all.  It’s funny; just a few days of clean eating is enough to reset my internal food sensor.  Crap makes me feel like crap.  You’d think I’d’ve figured this out by now, wouldn’t you?

Exercise was done, although it wasn’t a good workout.  I didn’t feel up to it with what felt like a brick in my stomach, but I pushed (feebly) through.  Let’s just say that I expect this is a week of Body Revolution that will be repeated.

Food is cut off for the day.  Exercise is technically done.

The rest of the night will consist of watching Sharknado on the SyFy channel.  It’s about a tornado that sucks up sharks, carries them inland, and then they eat people.  No kidding.

sharknado

Sharknado!

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Super Sentai, Plumbing, and Body Revolution

Food

Breakfast – oatmeal with blueberries, 1 egg white

Lunch – pork loin, cucumber, tomatoes

Snack – tuna salad in romaine leaf, pluot, green juice

Dinner – bacon cheeseburger on whole wheat bun, baked home fries, pluot

Today was supposed to be a Dudes’ Day with little guy, but he had to go to day care because I had far too many errands to run.  My day started off getting the oil changed in our car.  We were about 2,000 miles overdue, and our weekends have just been too busy lately.

We are in the process of selling a house and have a few minor plumbing problems that need to be fixed.  Again, as previously noted here and elsewhere, I have zero home improvement skills, so we hired a plumber to be sure it is done correctly.  (FYI – if you live in the Bowling Green/Nashville/Knoxville area, I cannot recommend Hiller Plumbing enough.  We are super pleased with their work.)  I am very happy to get this house-selling process finished so the new owners can get their keys and move in (and I can stop paying on two mortgages!).  This is what occupied the majority of my afternoon.

This also meant I was late coming home from work, and I’m not going to lie… It would have been SUPER easy to have blown off exercising, yet again.

However, we didn’t.  We ate a light snack, let little guy roam around us while we did it (because he loses his ever-lovin’ mind if we put him in his playpen), and got it done!  Woo hoo!  My only goal for the day accomplished!

I am very excited to weigh in on Saturday; despite not working out much, my eating has been great.  I feel pretty excited and hopeful about stepping on the scale.

I did a bit of grocery shopping this morning.  I like to go to the grocery early in the morning because you can often find clearance meats.  For people trying to eat healthy AND on a budget, meats that are almost ready to expire is a great find.  So long as you use or freeze them immediately, no problem!

IMAG0233  IMAG0239

This puts my July (and weekly) food budget at $95.81.  On the plus side, I got a LOT of meat.  I also picked up some veggies.  I wanted to wait for Saturday to get them at Farmer’s Market, but I am fresh out of cucumbers and tomatoes.  Since they are one of the only vegetables I enjoy eating, I try to keep them on hand.

When I was buying groceries today, the young kid ringing me up commented on my Green Ranger shirt, saying, “That is the most bad-A shirt I have ever seen.”  It really is; I thanked him for it.

He then said, “Weird question, but are you into just Power Rangers or do you know anything about Super Sentai?”

He is my people; I love Super Sentai.  If you don’t know what it is, then congratulations – you are not a MegaDork®.  I am a MegaDork®, and I know that Super Sentai is essentially literally Japanese Power Rangers.  Every iteration of Power Rangers in America began life as Japanese Power Rangers.

I remarked, “Huge fan.  I can’t wait for Gokaiger to be adapted.”

gokaiger

Gokaiger really was a cool series; every sentai has a theme (dinosaurs, cars, ninjas, birds, treasure hunters, et cetera).  Gokaiger’s theme was pirates.  It was a landmark series for Super Sentai – their 35th anniversary and it will be America Power Rangers’ 20th anniversary.  I won’t geek out any more than this, but I’ll just say it was pretty cool finding another Super Sentai fan in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  If he hadn’t been like seventeen years old, I probably would have asked if we could be best friends.  Not that I’m opposed to befriending seventeen year olds necessarily, but 35 year olds asking to watch Japanese t.v. with minors is how you end up on the news.

That pretty much sums up my day!

I have to say – this daily blogging thing really is helping hold me accountable.  I think if I hadn’t made a promise to be honest here on my blog and didn’t have to let anyone know that I blew off my workout (again), I would have.  Instead, I worked out.

Obviously, the honesty is a big part of it, but for now, in the early stages of this Project: Weight Loss that I am on, I’m happy to have this level of accountability!

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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)